Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Sense

Science is a subject that almost all kids love. One unit that we do during Kindergarten is a pumpkin unit. During this time we learn how to become better scientist by practicing what good scientists do - making observations of the natural world using 5 senses, recording data, collaborating with a partner, create and record visual representations, understand that learning can come by observations.

Over the last couple days we have been exploring pumpkins. We have been learning how we use our senses to learn about pumpkins and make connections to the world around us. We had whole pumpkins, cut up pumpkins, and even pumpkin pudding to help us be better scientists. Here are some of the connections the kids made while doing this inquiry:

When I saw the pumpkin it made me think about...
pumpkin pie because it's the same color.
carving a pumpkin because it's big like mine.

When I smelled the pumpkin it made me think about...
mud because mud smells like that too.
dirty water because puddles smell like that. (one of my favorite answers)

When I felt the pumpkin it made me think about...
worms because that's what they feel like moving around. (another favorite)
pudding because it was squishy and slimy.

When I tasted the pumpkin it made me think about...
pie because it is creamy like that.
whip cream because it kinda fluffy.

When I hear a pumpkin it makes me think about... (they thumped on the pumpkin)
someone closing a door because it bangs.
someone knocking at the door because it goes knock knock.

After this exploration stage, the students discussed their answers and we as a class began to think about how we use our senses all the time. Sometimes we don't even realize that we are using them. Next we will discuss how our senses work together (for ex. taste/smell, touch/sight) to help us experience our world.

During this time, we have also been making daily observations about which pumpkins last longer - carved or uncarved. We began by noticing how a cut apple changes quickly over time. Our next step was to see if any changes happen to a pumpkin by cutting it. We will be finishing that up by Friday (the carved pumpkin is starting to mold and become nasty). Ask your child what he/she has noticed about the pumpkins. We will be learning why that happens as well.

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