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Pumpkin Day

Math Lesson
for Pumpkin Day

The students will practice estimation, working with weight and measurement, and counting in groups.




  1. Begin by putting the students into pairs and passing out the Pumpkin Measurement Worksheet (in inches) or the Pumpkin Measurement Worksheet (in unifix cubes).
  2. Each pair will then cut a length of twine they believe will most closely go around the circumference of the pumpkin.  Have them measure their strings and record their estimates on their worksheets.  (Measurements could be done with tape measures or unifix cubes.)
  3. Measure the circumference of the pumpkin with a string and cut it to the proper length.
  4. Tape this string up on the wall and allow each pair to compare their estimated string to the actual string. Measure the actual string and allow the students to record the measurement on their worksheets. Older students may want to figure the difference more or less than the actual length.
  5. Do the same process for the height of the pumpkin.  (For this step, you may opt to not do the string.  Just have the students estimate how tall they believe the pumpkin to be.)
  6. Weigh each student on the scale have them record their weight. (It may be best to round their weight to the nearest 5 or 10 to make the math easier.)  (If the students or you are not comfortable with dealing with body weight, pick a heavy item in the room such as a chair, desk, etc. to do the same activity with. If you opt to do this, simply cut off the bottom of the worksheet.)
  7. Have the students guess how many pumpkins would = their weight (or the selected item's weight.) Example: My weight in pumpkins will be __________ pumpkins.
  8. Actually weigh the pumpkin. Have the students figure how many pumpkins it would take to actually = their (or the item's) weight.

    Example: I weigh the same as _________ pumpkins.

    If the pumpkin weighs 5 pounds the students would count in fives until they reach their weight. You may want to weigh your pumpkin before you buy it so you have a pumpkin that makes it easier for them to count by that number to reach their weight (five or ten pounds).

Other Lesson Ideas

  1. Have the students estimate how many seeds will be in the class pumpkin. Then take out all the seeds, put them in cups of ten seeds each. Count by tens to find the # of seeds in your pumpkin.
  2. Have individual (small) pumpkins for each pair of students instead of one for the whole class. The measurement activities and estimation activities could be done with these smaller individual pumpkins.


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