Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Mania!

I love fall!  The crispness in the air, the pumpkin patches, and cozy scarves.  I especially love watching your children explore the wonder of pumpkins.
In our house, baking soda and vinegar/lemon juice reactions are a huge draw.  The kids can NEVER get enough of the fizzing and exploding.  They love watching the differences in the reactions, as well, as playing in the goop.  I decided to add the wonder of fizz to the fun of pumpkins.  Such a hit!
We started out by mixing baking soda, food coloring, and a little bit of water in a bowl. 
We mixed until the consistency was firm and packed like a snowball.  This one needed a little more baking soda.  Notice that it is pretty watery.
We just kept adding baking soda, until we had the perfect pumpkins.  We made a batch of orange baking soda and green baking soda to make our pumpkin patch.
The kids had a ball shaping their pumpkins.  They used so much great mathematical and scientific language, while creating the pumpkins.  We discussed liquids, solids, larger, smaller, taller, shorter, and so much more.  It provides a gold mine of language opportunities.
We created our pumpkin patch in our homemade sensory table.  This is an awesome, portable table that is easy to transport and to store when not in use.  You can see the directions here.
The kids also talked about the life cycle of pumpkins.  You can see that they created pumpkins that are still green.  We were able to talk about how the pumpkins progress, as they grow.
Next, we got out the vinegar and lemon juice.  I had some fun ketchup and mustard squirters, so we filled them up with the liquid.  Yellow was lemon juice and red was vinegar.
Here is a reaction to the lemon juice.  The kids loved describing the bubbles that were produced.  You could definitely create a Venn diagram to chart the differences and similarities in the two reactions.
Here is a reaction to the vinegar.
As the exploration went on, they poured larger amounts of the liquids on the pumpkins to see a larger reaction.
Here they are pouring vinegar through a funnel into the middle of the pumpkin.
  I provided a variety of tools and the kids came up with their own experiments.  Ones that I had not even thought of trying. 
  This made for a huge set of bubbles and the fizzing even came back up through the funnel.
 I would definitely recommend trying your own pumpkin patch fizz!  Every step of this activity was enjoyable and created so many opportunities for cross-curriculum exploration.  I have so many ideas for the next time that we try this experiment!!
Even better is all the sensory fun!
We also tried played with my Pumpkins Interactive Play Dough Mats.  Great for differentiating needs in math!  Get your copy here.
We used the play dough mats in a variety of ways.  They used play dough to form the numeral and create pumpkins to match the same number on the mat.
 Here, we used pumpkin manipulatives and dry erase markers to do the same thing.  The student drew ten circles on the mat and then covered each with a pumpkin manipulative.  It allowed her to use one-to-one correspondence to match the numeral 10.
 There are cards included in the pack that have numerals, addition sentences, and ten frames.  Here, the student drew a card and represented the addition sentence with two colored sets of pumpkins.  Then, they used a dry erase marker to record the answer on the mat.  I use this as a partner game.  One partner draws a card and represents the equation or number of objects.  The other partner double checks their work.  Then, they switch.
 Here are a few of the fun printables that are included in this pack.  Students will read the numeral and draw the appropriate number of pumpkins on the hay stack.
 There are a bunch of differentiated worksheets that allow students to trace and fill in the numbers 1-10, depending on their ability.
 In "Hit The Hay", students count the pumpkins on the hay bales and write the matching numeral in the box.
 Look for more pumpkin activities in the next few days!!  I have some amazing games from Crayons, Cuties & Kindergarten that I can't wait to share!!
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1 comment:

  1. LAURA those fizzing pumpkins are amazing! OH- I can't wait to try it out with the boys! THANKS for sharing some 'out of the box' pumpkin fun!
    Crayons & Cuties In Kindergarten


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