Vermont School Garden

A visit to a Vermont public school garden through the seasons.

Back In Time: Pumpkin Work with First Graders

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Last October, the first graders came out to the garden to harvest the pumpkins they had planted as Kindergarteners last June.

Harvesting pumpkins as first graders, having palanted them as Kindergarteners.

They were very serious about their job.

First Grade pumpkin harvesters.

You can see that teamwork is an assumed responsibility even among the youngest students. After they harvested their pumpkins, they had  fun discovering other late growing yummy surprises in our garden.

Happy to find a giant zucchini!

Fall raspberries were a great reward after garden work in October.

Raspberry rewards.

In the classroom, first graders worked in pairs to measure and record observations about them. They predicted how many seeds would be found inside the pumpkins and what else they might find when the pumpkins were cut open. They overcame any squeamishness as they separated pumpkin seeds from pulp!

Scraping seeds from pie pumpkins.

Seed estimation.

I helped the first graders bake their pumpkins in a preheated 350 degree oven. We cut the pumpkins in half and put them upside down on a foil lined cookie sheet with about 1/4 inch of water. (This allows the pumpkin to steam under its own shell.) When the shell is tender to the touch, you can pull the cookie sheets out of the oven. Allow time for cooling before scraping the pumpkin out. You can mash this cooked pumpkin easily and use it for cooking in place of canned pumpkin. We put a lot of ours into freezer bags and froze it  for cooking projects later in the winter. Winter cooking will be a great way to reinforce our memories of pumpkin harvest day.
Pumpkin observations grade 1
Best Ever Pumpkin Muffin Recipe


Author: vermontschoolgarden

I have been an elementary teacher at the Westminster Center School for 30 years. For most of those years, I maintained a garden as part of my teaching curriculum resource. Now I am the Garden Coordinator for all of the Westminster Center School classrooms.

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