Sunday, October 16, 2022

What can we learn from pumpkins?

October and the pumpkins are everywhere! The traditional color of pumpkins is bright orange. But students will discover if they carry out their own research that there are red, white, blue and green pumpkins. Today, pumpkins are associated with Thanksgiving as well as Halloween.

Pumpkin carving is the traditional way that many people celebrate Halloween. Carving is a rather simple thing to do but there are of course master carvers who create fantastic art from the ordinary fruit.  The tradition to carve a Jack-o-Lantern comes from an Irish myth about Stingy Jack. He tricked the devil so God did not allow Jack into heaven and the devil did not let him into hell. Jack is forced to wander around and people in Ireland started to carve faces out of turnips to frighten Jack away. 

The delicious smell of pumpkin soup is a sign of October. But how do you make pumpkin soup? And what else can you make from pumpkins? Students love using a Fact Booklet to learn about this special fruit!

Yes, pumpkins are actually a fruit and not a vegetable. So even if the pumpkins that we eat in October are not sweet, pumpkins grow from the flowering part of the plant and hold their seeds in their flesh.  The word pumpkin comes from the Greek word   “peopon”, which in English, translates to “large melon”. Many fruits are used as vegetables like pumpkins and tomatoes. 

Students love it if you give them a variety of activities from counting pumpkins and seeds to picking out pumpkin geometrical shapes and recognizing the different steps in the lifecycle of the pumpkin. Seasonal resources provide a real-life connection so they grab students’ attention. 

We are often impressed by giant pumpkins. But is the bigger roundest pumpkin the best? Well, size and shape are important but a small and crooked pumpkin can be delicious. Kids tend to pick unique pumpkins if you go to the pumpkin patch. They love unique colors and shapes. So maybe a bit surprisingly pumpkins can even teach us about the importance of diversity when you socialize and make friends. Who wants to be friends with the person who stands out? The humble pumpkins offer your students great opportunities to grow and develop as humans! 

Wishing you a Happy and Colorful October!
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