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Curriculum Matrix

Companion Resource

The Great Pumpkin

This is a fun and simple activity in which students will make a paper-plate model of the life cycle of a pumpkin.

Time to Complete
1 hour
  • White paper plates, 2 per student
  • Markers or crayons: black and orange
  • Green yarn—an arm-length piece for each student
  • Construction paper—brown, green, yellow, orange
  • Paper Patterns (see attached file)
  • Hole punch
  • Stapler
  • Scissors—several pairs for students to share
  1. Have each student draw a Jack-o-lantern face with a black marker or crayon on the back of one of the paper plates. Color the rest of the plate and the back of the second plate orange.
  2. Trace the paper patterns onto the construction paper using the appropriate colors. Another option is to copy the pattern directly onto the construction paper. Cut the shapes out and punch a hole in the top of each one.
  3. Discuss the life cycle of a pumpkin plant with students as they are working. First, the seed is planted. From the seed a plant sprouts, growing leaves and then flowers. From the flowers, small green pumpkins form. When the pumpkins are ripe, they turn orange and can be harvested. Inside of the ripe pumpkin are many seeds which can be planted to start the cycle again.
  4. Thread the yarn through the holes of the seed, leaf, flower, green pumpkin and orange pumpkin in the correct order of their formation on the pumpkin plant. Tie a simple knot at the top of each plant part.
  5. Staple the end of the yarn closest to the orange pumpkin shape to the front of the plate without the face.
  6. Staple the paper plates together around the edges with the orange sides facing out. Leave a gap on one side of the pumpkin to pull the seed, leaf, flower, and growing pumpkins out with the piece of yarn. Slide the string of plant parts into the center of the Jack-o-lantern.
  7. The students can practice describing the life cycle of the pumpkin by slowly pulling the seed, leaf, flower, and growing pumpkins from the Jack-o-lantern.
File, Map, or Graphic
Rose Judd-Murray
Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
Lessons Associated with this Resource