“Ms. Cyndi, what are you doing?” “Why are you planting a PUMPKIN?”
As you can see from the picture below, on the playground, we have a pumpkin in a pot. This will be our year-long experiment. We are asking the children, “What will happen if we leave this pumpkin here all year?” If/then statements are a wonderful starting point in scientific thought. If we leave this pumpkin here all year, then . . .
We are already hearing quite a few hypotheses: “It will get old and squishy.” “It will grow.” “It will die.” It will get hairy.” “It will get holes in it.” “It will get rooting, um, no rotten.” (This is great vocabulary practice as well!) . . .
As I was working on setting it up, the children noticed some places on the pumpkin that are already deteriorating. The outside shell is chipped away in places. We talked about what could be causing that to happen. The general consensus was birds pecking at it. I noted that the edges looked a little like bite marks. Hmmmm, I wonder about that. One child offered the possibility of mice eating it.
I love this simple project. I love the interactions and the questions. I love the thought the children are already giving this.
What will happen? We, the teachers, don’t know. We aren’t sure if it will just rot or if the seeds will germinate in the pot. We each have our own hypothesis. I am hopeful that we will see regrowth next year but we just don’t know. “What will happen if we leave this pumpkin here all year.”