Pumpkin Exploration

Video: 

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Pumpkins prove to be very engaging for discovery learning.

NAEYC

NAEYC: 

Curriculum: Essential Characteristics

2.A.08— In Ms. Hand’s class, materials and equipment used to implement the curriculum reflect the lives of the children and families, provide for children’s safety while being appropriately challenging… encourage exploration, experimentation and discovery… and…promote action and interaction.

Pumpkins are readily available and a staple of Midwestern culture. Ms. Hand offers children the opportunity to develop fine motor skills by providing plastic hammers that can be used to drive wooden golf tees into the pumpkin. This leads to the children experimenting with different ways they can use the hammer and which parts of the pumpkin are easier than others to drive the tees into. The boys engaged in this activity discuss their observations.

Designing Enriched Learning Environments

3.A.05— Ms. Hand works to prevent challenging or disruptive behaviors through… engaging activities.

The boys driving golf tees into a pumpkin are completely engaged in what they are doing. Their high level of interest and involvement precludes any challenging or disruptive behaviors.

Using Instruction to Deepen Children’s Understanding and Build Their Skills and Knowledge

3.G.12— Ms. Hand promotes children’s engagement and learning by… enhancing and expanding activities that children choose to engage in repeatedly. 

The children in Ms. Hand’s class have opportunities to explore pumpkins in several different ways. By hammering golf tees into the pumpkins children learn about the external structure of the pumpkin. The science center provides children with the opportunity to look at various parts of the pumpkin with a magnifying glass as well as explore the internal structure of the pumpkin that has been cut open.

IELS

IELS: 

7.4-Fine Motor Development

Children develop fine motor skills.

Two boys in Ms. Hand's class use hand-eye coordination to perform...fine-motor tasks with a variety of manipulative materials.

Two boys in Ms. Hand's class develop their hand-eye coordination by using plastic hammers to drive golf tees into a pumpkin. They use their fingers to pull some of the tees out of the pumpkin, and then push them back in.

8.1-Curiosity and Initiative

Children express curiosity, interest, and initiative in exploring the environment, engaging in experiences, and learning new skills.

Two boys in Ms. Hand's class explore and experience activities...with eagerness, flexibility, imagination, independence, and inventiveness...

Boys in Ms. Hand's class hammer golf tees into a pumpkin with plastic hammers. One boy discovers a hole after pulling one of the golf tees out of the pumpkin. Later, his friend notices that "pumpkin juice" comes out of a hole he creates. One of the boys expresses a desire to cut the pumpkin open and look inside of it. Ms. Hand directs him to another center where a pumpkin has already been cut open and she encourages him to use many senses to explore the pumpkin.

9.4-Peer Interactions

Children develop the ability to interact with peers respectfully and to form positive peer relationships.

Two boys in Ms. Hand's class sustain interactions with peers...and...develop friendships with other peers.

Boys in Ms. Hand's class hammer golf tees into a pumpkin using plastic hammers. They discuss their discoveries as they engage in the activity. Ms. Hand asks the boys questions about what they are doing and they share their ideas. Together they decide to investigate a pumpkin at another center.

IQPPS

IQPPS: 

Curriculum: Essential Characteristics

2.8- In Ms. Hand's class, materials and equipment used to implement the curriculum reflect the lives of the children and families, provide for children's safety while being appropriately challenging... encourage exploration, experimentation and discovery... and...promote action and interaction.

Pumpkins are readily available and a staple of Midwestern culture. Ms. Hand offers children the opportunity to develop fine motor skills by providing plastic hammers that can be used to drive wooden golf tees into the pumpkin. This leads to the children experimenting with different ways they can use the hammer and which parts of the pumpkin are easier than others to drive the tees into. The boys engaged in this activity discuss their observations.

Designing Enriched Learning Environments

3.2- Ms. Hand works to prevent challenging or disruptive behaviors through... engaging activities.

The boys driving golf tees into a pumpkin are completely engaged in what they are doing. Their high level of interest and involvement precludes any challenging or disruptive behaviors.

Using Instruction to Deepen Children's Understanding and Build Their Skills and Knowledge

3.19- Ms. Hand promotes children's engagement and learning by... enhancing and expanding activities that children choose to engage in repeatedly. 

The children in Ms. Hand's class have opportunities to explore pumpkins in several different ways. By hammering golf tees into the pumpkins children learn about the external structure of the pumpkin. The science center provides children with the opportunity to look at various parts of the pumpkin with a magnifying glass as well as explore the internal structure of the pumpkin that has been cut open.

HSPS

HSPS: 

1304.21(a)(1)(i) - The pumpkin exploration activity is a developmentally and linguistically appropriate activity that recognizes that children have individual rates of development as well as individual interests, temperaments, languages, cultural backgrounds, and learning styles.

Boys in Ms. Hand's class hammer golf tees into a pumpkin using plastic hammers. They discuss their discoveries as they engage in the activity. Ms. Hand asks the boys questions about what they are doing and they share their ideas. Together they decide to investigate a pumpkin at another center.

1304.21(a)(5)(ii) – Ms. Hand provides appropriate time space, equipment, materials, and adult guidance for the development of fine motor skills according to each child’s developmental level while allowing the children to explore pumpkins in various manners.

Two boys in Ms. Hand's class develop their hand-eye coordination by using plastic hammers to drive golf tees into a pumpkin. They use their fingers to pull some of the tees out of the pumpkin, and then push them back in.

HSCOF

HSCOF: 

Science

Scienific Skills and Methods

  • Develops increased ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences and comparisons among objects and materials.
  • Begins to describe predictions, explanations and generalizations based on past experiences.

Scientific Knowledge

  • Expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe and discuss the natural world, materials, living things and natural processes.

 

Social and Emotional Development

Self Control

  • Demonstrates increasing capacity to follow rules and routines and use materials purposefully, safely, and respectfully.

Cooperation

  • Increases abilities to sustain interactions with peers by helping, sharing and discussion.
  • Develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games or using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Social Relationships

  • Demonstrates increasing comfort in talking with and accepting guidance and directions from a range of familiar adults
  • Shows progress in developing friendships with peers

 

Approaches to Learning

Initiative and Curiosity

  • Chooses to participate in an increasing variety of tasks and activities
  • Approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination and inventiveness.
  • Grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas and tasks.

Engagement and Persistence

  • Grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects and experiences
  • Shows growing capacity to maintain concentration over time on a task, question, set of directions or interactions, despite distractions and interruptions.

 

Physical Health and Development

Fine Motor Skills

  • Develops growing strength, dexterity and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.
  • Grows in hand eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads and using scissors.