Clements/Parsons students become pumpkin professors
By EMMA SHUMAKER
Special to Leader-Press
How many seeds are in the average pumpkin? If you guessed 500, you are correct. The number of seeds in a pumpkin varies based on a pumpkin’s size and weight, with a range of 100 seeds up to 700 seeds.
With fall upon us finally, Clements-Parsons Elementary first graders are becoming pumpkin professors with the focus on informational text lessons centered around pumpkins. Students read an article about the many colors pumpkins can grow in and were amazed that pumpkins could be so colorful viewing a light blue pumpkin, a pink pumpkin, and an orange pumpkin.
“I like the Cinderella pumpkin because it is pink,” first grader Lilah Head said.
Students also took a virtual book tour of a pumpkin patch and discovered that not all pumpkins can be made in to pumpkin pies or Jack-O-Lanterns.
For first grader Steven Kinere, his favorite pumpkin was chosen based on its usability.
“My favorite pumpkin was the pumpkin pie pumpkin. I like pie,” Kinere said.
After reading about the pumpkin’s life cycle to relate their reading to science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, students used their knowledge to write about how they would grow pumpkins of their own, making self-text connections.
Next, the pumpkins came rolling in for some scientific exploration time. Students worked in teams with the pumpkins on math skills by counting the sections, measuring the height and width with nonstandard tools, and then estimating the number of seeds in a tiny pumpkin, counting them to practice counting to 100 again and again and improving their math skills.
After counting the seeds, first grader Marcella Watkins was surprised at how many seeds were in the small pumpkin she was studying.
“How can a little pumpkin have 330 seeds? It was so small,” Watkins said.
The number and size of seeds in a pumpkin varies depending on the pumpkin size and other variables, such as pollination. To get a rough estimate of how many seeds the pumpkin contains, count the number of sections in the pumpkin and multiply by 16.
Students learned that pumpkin seeds can be roasted, toasted and spiced, making everything nice for the fall season.