Monday, October 24, 2011


The kindergarten classroom is most definitely a place that requires a grin, some grit and a bit of grace.  When dealing with 5 year olds, I always have to be on my toes.  My carefully crafted lessons can get tossed at any time for an unpredictable new direction. 

On Friday I go into Mrs. Y's classroom to help her class with Pumpkinpalooza.  Mrs. Y has 6 different stations of math, science and language arts activities all dealing with pumpkins.

"You have your pick of the stations, Mrs. K.  Which one would you like?" she asks.
"I'll take any station except the carving station," I reply.

Guess which station I get?  Oh that Mrs. Y has a sense of humor, doesn't she now.

comparing the textures of pumpkins
Six groups of children rotate to my table throughout the morning.  Each time, I encourage them to use their senses to compare and contrast the different pumpkins. 

Once we have studied the outside, each group chooses a pumpkin to open. 

"What do you think we will find inside?" I ask.
"Applesauce," one little boy replies.
"Candles," another confidently suggests. 

Once the predictions are made, I review knife safety rules and carefully cut a circle in the top of the pumpkin.  Six times I successfully open various pumpkins without dismembering myself.

Once the inside is exposed, the different personalities of the children emerge.  To some, this is the most disgusting activity ever and they can't wait to (literally) wash their hands of it all.

"This smells like rotting garbage," a girl moans holding her nose.

Other students are excited to have permission to get messy and are picking up handfuls of freshly scooped pulp and seeds. 

"This feels just like raw chicken," exclaims one little boy.  I wonder how he knows. 

Another girl is inhaling deeply-- her entire face mashed against the pumpkin's opening.  "Mmmm," she sighs contentedly, "It's like fresh cantaloupe."

Soon it is time to clean up.  I choose two of the pumpkins and carve simple Jack O'Lantern faces just to make the kids smile.  I figure I owe them, since they kept me laughing all morning with their observations.

No comments:

Post a Comment