Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Nature Study #171:Pumpkin Observations

We bought several pumpkins during the holiday season and have enjoyed noticing things about them. Because this is such a busy time, we decided not to have a formal nature study with journal entries but to just make discoveries and talk about them. I would like to share with you some of the things we noticed. Every child that has helped to carve a jack-o-lantern has noticed that the insides of a pumpkin contain not only the seeds but stringy fibrous material that holds the seeds, and that this material is very different from the flesh of the pumpkin. They had plenty of opportunity to explore the feel of this material and how slippery the seeds are when they are first taken out of the pumpkin. Upon looking closer, however, we noticed that the seeds are always attached by their most pointy ends. We remembered one year when we left a pumpkin outside all winter. In the spring little pumpkin plants sprouted from the seeds.We also had a lot of fun comparing and contrasting the different types of pumpkins. We bought regular orange pumpkins, but we also purchased white and Storybook pumpkins. We were anxious to see how they looked inside. The inside tissue of the white pumpkin was white as well, including the seed supporting tissue. Sam noticed right away that the seeds also looked different. They were smaller, flatter and whiter. In this bowl, we have put both orange and white pumpkin insides. Can you pick out the two different kinds?
The Storybook Pumpkin was very interesting. Its flesh was very thick as you can see from this photo of the top section. The flesh was very deep orange; more like the pumpkin flesh I remembered as a child.
The seeds had more fleshy material in the top section and then a lot of watery liquid in the bottom with the seeds. The seeds were more brown in color than the seeds from the other pumpkins.

After we cut open all these pumpkins, we had lots of seeds to roast with a bit of salt and enjoy. It is easy to see that the seeds have a coating and a fleshy part inside and that the seed divides naturally into two halves. You can even see that the seed has a thick outer coat and a thinner inner coat...all while eating them!

We also took several of the smaller ones and, after taking out the seeds, filled the cavities with soup and topped them with a crust to make a pumpkin pot pie.

And, of course, some of the pumpkins were used for Jack-o-Lanterns...including Cinderella's coach, for which Katie made mice out of Sculpy.

1 comment:

  1. It was really interesting to see the insides of the various kinds of pumpkins. I can see adding that to the pumpkin challenge for next year...to compare and contrast two different pumpkins. :)

    The orange pumpkins were so dense...ours was more hollow inside.

    Great observations about the seeds and how they were attached by the strings.

    As usual, you inspired me.

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom


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