Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pumpkin Carving in 1st Grade

Hello friends and HAPPY FALL!

Jen from Sparkling in Second Grade here :)

We have been immersed in that pumpkin life in my classroom.

I wanted to share some ideas for carving pumpkins in first grade!

At first I thought it was quite a daunting task. In my 6 years of teaching, I had never carved a pumpkin in class. It sounded messy!

This year, I stepped out of my comfort zone because, well, my kids needed me to! All those questions and experiences that can come if I just get over the fact that I'm a control/neat freak and allow those little munchkins to learn and experience new things!

With a lingering pumpkin patch field trip on the horizon, I just knew we had to dig in to our own pumpkins.

Here are some tips to making it a clean and fun exploration!

Here's what you need:
*those cheap carving tools
*latex gloves
*garbage bags
*baby wipes
*cheap led light

The cheap carving tools (which I thought were dumb, but turned out to work WAY better than a knife) worked like a charm to take the top off.

While I talked and cut, my students were on the carpet labeling the parts of the pumpkin (cut/paste from A Year of Many Firsts).

I let me students help me dig out the seeds (and I wore the gloves). I lined them up and gave them a baby wipe after they got to dig some guts out. 

To clean up, I took the pumpkin off the stand, folded up the seeds, took of my gloves and was ready to move on! All while the students colored/cut/pasted their pumpkin parts. We left the rest for the next day (I had placed a new trash bag underneath the pumpkin for the next day).

We used A Teachable Teacher's Pumpkin Carving pack to guide us through as we determined how to cut our pumpkin into a Jack-o-Lantern (as well as a little inspiration from The First Grade Parade with our Jack-o-Lantern tally chart). 

We used the chart to guide us and everyone got a chance to draw their own faces. After we drew, everyone came to the carpet and we tallied up the shapes we used. To carve our class pumpkin, we used the most popular face shapes that were picked.

We stuck a cheap light inside and we had ourselves a Jack-o-Lantern!


On the third day of this pumpkin extravaganza, we got to taste the seeds! *Note: I do love a freshly baked pumpkin seed, but I did not have time. I just picked some up from Trader Joe's.*

We took a survey before, what did we think it would taste like. Did a taste test and decided if we liked them!

After all this, our pumpkin was beginning to rot! GROSS!

My students asked what happens when it's done being a Jack-o-Lantern and I couldn't help but say, "Let's find out!"

I stuck some caution tape around him and set him outside our door in the dirt.

Now we will watch as he rots back into the earth.

I hope this inspires you and your students! I'd love to hear what you do to make carving easy and fun for your students!

Happy carving!

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