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Lesson Plan

Pumpkins

Summary: 
Look inside a pumpkin, find out what the seeds are for, and look at other familiar foods with seeds.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Life Cycles (2)
Materials: 
  • pumpkin pre-sliced into segments, one for each student
  • large (petri) dish for each pumpkin slice
  • pea seeds, or other large seeds (pumpkin ideal)
  • germinated (pea) seeds, germinated pumpkin seed ideal
  • (pea) seedling, after a week of growth in a pot of dirt (pumpkin seedling ideal)
  • familiar fruits (tomato, pepper) and other vegetables that are not fruits
Procedure: 

What’s inside a pumpkin?
Give each student a slice of pumpkin/whole pumpkin on a dish.

What do you see? Draw on board as students name things. Look very closely - see stuff you have never seen before. (e.g. seeds, pulp, thready stuff around seeds, rind.)

Pull out the seeds. Count them. How many seeds in the whole pumpkin?
Add each students count to a board, then do the approx math for how many in the whole pumpkin
Lot of seeds. What are they for?

What do the seeds do?
Make new pumpkin plants. How do they do that?
Show pea seeds - seeds split open, grow a root and a shoot.
Pull up seed in pot to show roots and shoot and seed.
A plant makes a fruit, so that it can make more seeds, so that it can make a new plant: life cycle. Show pumpkin life cycle images, and relate to their worksheet.
Not all pumpkin seeds grow, so they make in a lot.
(If time and head space, back to structure: seeds make a new plant, rind protects it from rotting, pulp attracts animals that eat the seeds and spread them around).

What other things are fruits?
Pumpkin is a fruit - it has seeds.
What else is a fruit? Is this? (tomato, pepper, lettuce, celery) Show the rest of the plant each time.
When you eat plants at home, you can tell your parents which parts of the plant they come from.

Notes: 

This is a half hour lesson

Grades taught: 
Gr K
Teacher: 
Ingrid
Kelly Smith
Site tested: 
Horse riding stables, Richmond
Lesson plan originally developed and delivered: 

Horse riding stables for Gordon Elementary Class