Blushing Pumpkins

Blushing Pumpkins lesson plan

Explore growth cycles through the seasons then create original chalk drawings of pumpkins ready for harvest.

  • 1.

    Study the changing seasons, and how the weather affects plants that grow in various regions. In areas with four seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter), there is an obvious cycle of growth, characterized by beginnings and endings in the plant world. The natural culmination of the growth cycle, which happens when the weather cools, is often celebrated. Some of these celebrations include the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, Halloween in North America, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) in Mexico, and Thanksgiving in many countries.

  • 2.

    One vegetable often associated with fall harvests is the pumpkin. Pumpkins are sometimes hollowed out, then carved to resemble faces, which were once thought to protect people's households. A candle is placed inside of the pumpkin, which casts an eerie light. Carved pumpkins, called Jack o' Lanterns, can be found on porches and windowsills in late fall.

  • 3.

    To create a friendly pumpkin, begin by having students touching, smelling, and looking closely at the way pumpkins are shaped. Pumpkins come in many sizes and shapes, but they always have many long grooves that extend from the stem to the bottom. These grooves get wider at the middle of the pumpkin, then narrow at the top and bottom. If you are younger or have special needs, you may wish to run your fingers up and down these grooves. Also, feel the scratchy stem at the top.

  • 4.

    Cover a table with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola® Colored Drawing Chalk to draw a large pumpkin, complete with a stem, on colored paper. Draw a face with rosy cheeks.

  • 5.

    Color the pumpkin with orange, yellow, and/or brown chalk for a realistic effect, using darker colors to create grooves and shadows. Use pale colors for lighter areas. Blend colors with a paper towel. Remove any chalk dust by lifting the drawing and tapping the bottom edge lightly on the newspaper.

Standards

  • LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • LA: With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
  • LA: Report on a topic in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.
  • SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.
  • SS: Describe and speculate about physical system changes, such as seasons, climate and weather, and the water cycle.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.

Adaptations

  • Younger students can work in small groups with the assistance of an adult to generate a set of descriptive words that are affiliated with the season of fall. Have students use Crayola Markers to write these words on pumpkin shapes. These words can be posted to a bulletin board. Encourage all class members to contribute to this visual.
  • Upper elementary students work in small groups or pairs to generate list of descriptive words for the season. Groups brainstorm a fall poem that includes several of these descriptors. Students illustrate their original poem and display it in the classroom. This activity can also be completed as a song, with a designated tune or assistance from the school's music teacher to create original music for the lyrics.
  • Upper elementary students work with primary students to trace the life of a pumpkin. Address such questions as where the pumpkin seed comes from, what is the best climate for growing pumpkins and/or what is the best soil mixture, how long is the growing cycle, how do you know the pumpkin is ready for picking, etc. Student teams create a timeline of events for the life of a pumpkin using Crayola Markers and/or Crayola Colored Pencils. Timelines can be displayed in the classroom and signed by the authors.