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Pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkins have a variety of appearance features. Color, shape, size, warts, stems, vines, and the depth of the ribs can all be varied, some present or not. Genetic and environmental factors both play a role in determining the appearance of a pumpkin.

Grundy County, Iowa

Driving Question

  • What causes pumpkins to look different?

Probing Questions

  • What differences do you notice in the appearance of these pumpkins?
  • What causes might have led to these differences?
  • How do you think we could explore the many differences in the appearances of pumpkins?

Classroom Suggestions

Students could:

  • Record observations of pumpkins, noting differences and similarities. Then they can ask questions about pumpkins.
  • See how pumpkins are different from other vegetables and how they grow differently.
  • Explore the pumpkins with our five senses: How do they feel, smell, taste, look, sound? 
  • Students can investigate pumpkins based on whether it can float or sink, the weight, circumference, weight etc.

Relevant Related Resources

Lesson Plans | Early Learning Ideas: A variety of engaging activities related to pumpkins. Activities range from looking at pumpkins to seeing what’s on the inside of pumpkins to looking and feeling the texture of pumpkins inside and outside. 
Background Information on Pumpkins | San Diego Family: This provides different facts on pumpkins that would be helpful to learn about before we dive further into exploring pumpkins. 
Life Cycle of Pumpkins | Early Learning Ideas: A variety of activities that focus on the 6 stages of the life cycle for pumpkins.

    Iowa Core Alignment


    Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment

    Credit Info

    Submitted by Allison White, Kelsey Crouse, Erica McCain, and Sarah Rajkumar.

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