During group time explain to the children that you are going to examine the fruit. Place a pumpkin onto the cutting board, and talk about the shape, color, texture, plant v. animal, where it grows. Carefully cut the pumpkin in half if it is a small pumpkin. Otherwise have a pre-cut pumpkin on hand. Return the knife to a safe place. Have the children take turns describing what they see. Assist the children in naming the parts of the fruit. Use the 3 period lesson. Place the fruit on the nature table for the children to observe. Make 3 part cards and books available to children.
|Parts of_book PDF|
|3 part cards PDF|
pericarp- the walls of a ripened fruit
exocarp- the outer layer of a pericarp
mesocarp- the flesh part of the fruit
endocarp- the inner layer of a ripened fruit
History:The origin of pumpkins is not definitively known, although they are thought to have originated in North America. The oldest evidence, pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 BC, were found in Mexico.Pumpkins are a squash-like fruit that range in size from less than 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) to over 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms).
Pumpkins are a warm-weather crop that is usually planted in early July. The specific conditions necessary for growing pumpkins require that soil temperatures three inches (7.62 cm) deep are at least 60 °F (15.5 °C) and soil that holds water well. Pumpkin crops may suffer if there is a lack of water or because of cold temperatures (in this case, below 65 °F (18.3 °C); frost can be detrimental), and sandy soil with poor water retention or poorly drained soils that become waterlogged after heavy rain. Pumpkins are, however, rather hardy, and even if many leaves and portions of the vine are removed or damaged, the plant can very quickly re-grow secondary vines to replace what was removed.
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Life cycle of a Pumpkin- by Montessori for Everyone