Are you looking for the best first grade pumpkin activities to celebrate the harvest season? Fall is always one of my favorite seasons, both at home and in the classroom. Pumpkins, fall leaves, falling temps, candy corn…so many fun ways to integrate this time of year into the classroom! I hope this post inspires your creativity to celebrate pumpkins and all things fall in your lesson plans with young ones. Happy Fall!
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Math Pumpkin Activities for First Grade
A great pumpkin unit for math is so fun to plan in the fall season! Consider setting up several math centers in the classroom for the whole class to practice some pumpkin math with real pumpkins.
Pumpkin Seed Counting
Place a collection of pumpkin seeds at a center. (Don’t worry, you can buy these prepared in the grocery store if you don’t want to clean out a pumpkin on your own!) Place flashcards with addition facts or subtraction facts next to the seeds. Allow children time to use the pumpkin seeds to work out their problems with pencil and paper or a whiteboard with orange markers. 2nd grade students could also practice making arrays for early multiplication practice. This is a great way to practice math skills and fine motor skills at the same time!
Pumpkin Patch Ordinal Numbers
Math activities including little pumpkins are always fun! Gather a collection of pumpkins in varying sizes. Allow students to practice sorting and organizing the pumpkins in various ways, including size and placing in order using ordinal numbers.
This is also the perfect time to do some pumpkin investigation. Put out some tape measures and allow these young children to use recording sheets to write down the various sizes of these fabulous fruits. This is also a fun way to practice graphing. Students can work in small groups to chart the various sizes of pumpkins found within your own personal pumpkin patch!
If you need quiet classroom activities, look for free printables or pumpkin worksheets like the one below. In this graph, young learners can graph common fall elements like leaves, acorns and pumpkins. Feel free to make copies for your own classroom.
Pumpkin Recipes for Math in First Grade
If you are feeling adventurous, making a recipe with your first graders is on my list of fun activities. Think about recruiting some parent volunteers to help supervise this station. If you are homeschooling, older kids will be super helpful with your young learners. Print a simple recipe for easy pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin pie. Many of these recipes only require a few simple ingredients.
Practice reading recipes with the first graders beforehand, pointing out things like abbreviations for cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc. You could also talk about basic hygiene of washing your hands and not licking the spoon! Always a problem at my house 🙂
This would also be a perfect opportunity to talk about basic fractions. Halving a pie, quarters, how many pies do you need per class? All of these would be great questions for little kids in first grade!
Literacy Centers for First Grade Pumpkin Activities
Fall is the perfect time to bring out a great book and settle into a literacy center. Bring out little bins and fill them with with books about harvest time, pumpkin poems, the life cycle of a pumpkin, and even a square pumpkin. Check out this list below for some of my favorite books on a pumpkin theme, perfect for first graders.
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara
This is the perfect book to use in a math and science-related literacy center. Skip counting and estimation skills examined in the book make the perfect tie-in to so many first grade skills. Use this excellent pumpkin book in a fall unit with science activities. Grab a real pumpkin, cut it open, let the kids help empty it out and explore how many seeds are in a pumpkin. Students will love exploring the inside of the pumpkin. One of our favorite pumpkin activities this season!
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie is a great book showing all the fun things fall. Your students will love this nonfiction book with colorful photographs of pumpkin season and the fantastic fun of the harvest season. Record pumpkin facts with a graphic organizer like the one below to incorporate early writing skills. As a starting point, support your English Language Learners by offering a list of vocabulary that may need to be recorded in their notes.
From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
This is another fantastic non fiction book to read during the fall season. Pull some vocabulary during the read aloud to add to your sight words for children to memorize. Children will enjoy learning about the life cycle of a pumpkin and may want to make their very own pumpkin seeds from the recipe given in the book.
Take a little bit of time to design a life cycle of a pumpkin from seed to fruit with this read aloud. See if children can come up after the read aloud and explain the cycle on their own. Consider writing a piece together on what your students do with their families during the pumpkin season. Writing within group activities is a great way to model thinking out loud and recording your thoughts with your class.
The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Triano
This one is a cute story for your fall classroom library. Poor Spookley is picked on because of his odd shape, but he ends up saving the day. A great book to combine with fun pumpkin crafts. Let the kids design their own pumpkin, of whatever shape they choose. Add googly eyes, construction paper noses, and colorful mouths to make a great pumpkin theme bulletin board. Call it pumpkin process art! Add a creative writing assignment with the name and personality description of each child’s pumpkin, and you have a great integrated assignment targeting multiple skills! One of our favorite pumpkin activities in October!
I hope this post encourages you with some fun ideas for classroom activities for the fall. Please find these free printables helpful with your young students. I hope you have a good time and a fun week with your first graders this season! Happy Halloween!