Life Cycle of a Pumpkin
Lesson 3 of 5
Objective: Students learn the stages of a pumpkin life cycle by putting the stages in the correct order.
Students are asked to meet me on the meeting place rug to be ready to listen to a story. I show the story Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington to the students and ask, "What do you think this story will be about?" I listen to a few responses.
I begin reading the story. During the reading, I stop on each page and ask clarifying questions and connect the reading to the observations of pumpkins done on Day 1 and 2.
Questions I may ask:
"What do you think Jamie is going to do with a pumpkin seed?"
"Why do you think Jamie saved 6 seeds?"
This book is about a boy who plants a pumpkin seed. Each page of the story shows how the pumpkin seed grows, step by step. I chose this story because it is a very short and simple reading. It illustrates the life cycle of a pumpkin in terms that a kindergarten student can understand.
After reading the story, the class engages in a retell of the story using a felt board and felt pieces to depict the pictures in the story. We work on using vocabulary words and labeling the life cycle of a pumpkin.
I will ask a student to come up to the felt board and take the pieces and put them in order starting with the pumpkin seed. As the student works through the pieces, the class and I are talking through what part comes next in the cycle. I have the book and I hold it up and turn the pages in order to give the students a visual of what comes next.
We may repeat this activity two or three more times if needed to solidify the concept.
I then ask students to quietly go back to their seats so that we can watch a short video.
Students watch a video and learn a song to help them remember the life cycle. For many students, having music put to a concept helps them remember. This activity also makes it fun for them. The ELL students especially enjoy this.
After the video, I ask students, "Are you ready to make your own life cycle project?"
The different stages of the pumpkin life cycle will be ready for students to color and cut out. The students will be given a paper plate.
They color the pieces, cut them out, and glue them in the correct order around the outside edge of the paper plate.
During this time, I am reminding students that when we color things for science, we need to color them accurately. For example, plant leaves should be green, the pumpkin flower should be yellow, etc. I tell the students that when making a model of something, it should accurately describe what we are modeling.
I choose to do this activity as the lesson assessment piece. As I walk around the room, I can easily tell who has understood the lesson. It also makes sense to the students because the paper plate is round and we have discussed that the word "cycle" means "events that repeat in the same order", like a wheel that turns.
When the students are finished with the project, I ask them to clean up their tables and meet me back on the meeting place rug so that we can talk about what we've learned and check our questions chart from Lesson 1.
We take a look at our questions anchor chart, reread the questions we have written down and I ask, "Are there any questions we on our chart that we now have an answer to?".
If we can answer any questions, I will record them on the anchor chart.
I end the lesson by asking, "How many of you know how a pumpkin grows?". The last thing I say to the class is that I would like them to go home tonight and show someone their life cycle project and retell the story, Pumpkin, Pumpkin.