Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Nature Study

We did a nature study on pumpkins this last week. We were invited to join a group of homeschoolers that follow Charlotte Mason's approach to their schooling. We had a great time. The point of the nature study was to investigate the pumpkin by looking at it, feeling it, thumping on it, then cutting it open to check out the insides. We put our hands in it, smelled it and pulled it apart. It was great fun. Olivia has a nature journal that she drew in to show her findings. The interesting thing was that when we cut open that pumpkin you see in the pictures below, it was practically empty with hardly any stringy stuff or seeds. We are not sure why! Olivia had a great time investigating. While I guided her, I left most of it up to her creativity. (My reference for the nature study was The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock)
She drew the pumpkin on a vine. We looked at pictures and read descriptions of the vine and leaves from a book as I was unable to find a farm to visit with pumpkins still on the vine.

Her journal shows the inside of the pumpkin and also the seeds after we peeled them to take a closer look.

After the nature study, we took a trip to the farmer's market to look at all the fruits and vegetables and talk about classifying them. Pumpkins are actually a fruit. They are also in the same family as cucumbers and then of course squashs and gourds. Then we did some painting and some crafts.

Open our pumpkin to see what's inside...

Olivia's favorite part was the stringy stuff.

We talked aobut mixing colors to paint this pumpkin. We found out that pumpkins come in many other colors besides orange. We also talked about how there are many different oranges. We put our lifecycle cards in order on the pumpkin's vine.

We cooked up the pumpkin, pureed it, and plan to use it to make pumpkin pie. Olivia has really enjoyed helping me in the kitchen these days. She says, "I am learning how to cook" with a big smile. :)

1 comment:

Stan and Dana said...

so cool! my home schooling hero! :)