Pumpkin Math: Book of the Week GIVEAWAY

October 10, 2011

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Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino

Why we love this book:

Halloween is in the air and we’re ready for some fun! “Five Little Pumpkins” is a well known and loved Halloween rhyme. This board book version, with its bright bold illustrations, is perfect for all the little pumpkins in your life. Children enjoy acting out the five little pumpkins’ dialogue.

While the target audience for this board book is probably young children, we like using it with older children to teach the use of quotation marks. Older children can use the rhyme as a template for writing their own rhymes, applying the use of quotation marks. Even older children can have a little Halloween fun!

Math Investigation

What is the Circumference of the Pumpkin?

Math Investigation Question, MacGyver, age 8

Step 1 – Math Investigation Question: What is the Circumference of the pumpkin?

  • I introduced the children to the measurement concept of circumference, before posing our mathematics investigation question.

Step 2 – Make an estimate or prediction:

  • The children were given the opportunity to handle the pumpkin before making their prediction.
  • MacGyver, age 8, attempted to estimate the inches around the pumpkin.

  • Each of the children cut a string, predicting the circumference of the pumpkin.
  • MacGyver tried to cut his string the exact circumference of the pumpkin.
  • Miss Enigma, age 4, basically took a guess by eye-balling the pumpkin. I guided her by helping her roll out the string and asking, “Do you think it is bigger around than this? Do you  think it is bigger around than this? . . . Tell me when it is the right length.”

  • Each of the children measured the length of their estimate.

Step 3 – Investigate Question and Record Data:

  • The children used a string to measure the circumference of the pumpkin.
  • Then the children used a yardstick to measure the length of the circumference and compare it to their estimates.

  • MacGyver’s drawing shows that he used a roll of string to measure the circumference of the pumpkin. He also includes a yardstick and the string measuring “almost” 31 inches.

  • Miss Enigma drew the pumpkin and scribbled her findings. I simply asked if she would like for me to write “pumpkin” on her paper.
  • Next, I asked if she would like for me to teach her how to write the letter P. Surprisingly, she agreed as usually she informs me, “I already did the writing!”
  • Miss Enigma practiced independently writing the letter P.

Step 4 – Record a final solution: Today I learned the circumference of the pumpkin is almost 30 inches.

Classroom Adaptation:

  • Create a chart with three sections labeled: too short, too long, just right
  • Let the children tape their strings to the correct section

When we finished the pumpkin investigation, MacGyver decided he wanted to estimate and measure the circumference of other items.

When MacGyver estimated the circumference of the globe, he first compared it to the size of the pumpkin.

After estimating and measuring several items, MacGyver concluded that it is very tricky to estimate the circumference.

At the other end of the table, Miss Engima gets another sheet of paper and continues writing the letter P, filling both sides of the paper.

Later during journal writing time, Miss Enigma writes a story and includes the  letter P.

We’re GIVING AWAY one board book copy of  Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino.

To enter this contest, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

Do you do any special pumpkin activities or cooking this time of year? (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)

The Rules:

One entry per person, please.

No entries after 8:00 pm Central Time, Thursday, October 13, 2011

The winner must be a resident of The United States.

The winner will be selected at random and announced Friday, October 14, 2011. Check back to claim your prize. It might be you!

FREE printable book: Going to the Pumpkin Patch

Try this Easy Party Pumpkin Cake with Orange Glaze

Sharing this week at:

Planet Smarty Pants 2014

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Cammie Talley October 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

We carve a jack-o-latern, then dry the seeds to eat. We also bake a pumpkin and make pumpkin recipes from scratch!

Julie October 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

We go to the pumpkin patch and carve a jack o lantern. We also make pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pancakes and do some three part cards of the lifecycle of a pumpkin. We read a lot of pumpkin books too:)

Tara October 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm

We’ve made lots of pumpkin themed food this year already…pumpkin lattes (I let the boys try it!), pumpkin panckes, pumpkin french toast, pumpkin pie, even pumpkin pie scented playdough. I’ve never cooked a “real” pumpkin (only used the canned) so I’m planning to try that this year!
When I saw the book for this week, I had to laugh. A few months ago, this book is the one my 4 year had to have from the library. Well, wouldn’t you know it, it got misplaced within hours of having it at home. We searched everywhere for that book! A couple of days later we found it in the pantry!!! Apparently our 2 year old was “reading” it when he decided to go find a snack. :)
The boys would be thrilled to find that book in the mail for them to keep! ;)

MissMOE October 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Can I come visit your school? I love how you geared everything around pumpkins. Looks like lots of fun.

Michelle October 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I’m planning on a pumpkin thematic unit next week so it is nice to see what others are doing as well! I love pumpkin stuff. :) Makes me think of Autumn which I also looooveee. :)

Christi Gifford October 11, 2011 at 12:00 am

What cute ideas! Looks like you guys have tons of fun.

Lexi October 11, 2011 at 12:30 am

Such cute ideas! At our house, we play pin the nose on the pumpkin for our little family fall party. And just this week I had gluten, dairy, egg free baking success with pumpkin cinnamon rolls. So that will be added to our fall traditions.

Annika October 11, 2011 at 8:07 am

Brilliant! What a great way to incorporate geometry into the season. Love it!

Robin October 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm

WE are going to the pumpkin patch @ Bracken U.M.C. They have centers set up that include, math, science, story, health and art. After we finish the centers there will be a hay ride and fun exploring the many many pumpkins… we are going to the pumpkin patch yes we are!

Sarah October 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Love your ideas for using the books with kids a little older.

Merelyn - Real Kid Friendly October 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm

We are going to make these really easy pumpkin cupcakes. I got the recipe Oct 2010 but I can’t remember where :-)

Tiffany October 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Along with carving the pumpkin and baking the seeds, we hit the Goodwill stores. The boys decide what they would like to be and we piece together the costumes through finds at second hand stores.

Ellie October 12, 2011 at 11:32 pm

We always carve a few pumpkins around this time of year: at least one with a super scary face, and at least one with a funny face. We love baking the left-over pumpkin seeds and munching on them later. My favorite snackfood!

Jackie October 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm

We just like the scoop the goop and explore!
Ps. I love the way your kids extended their learning… MacGyver’s circumference investigation, and Miss Engima’s use the the letter “p” in her journal. They are doing great! Thanks for sharing.

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