Blushing Pumpkins

Why

Explore growth cycles through the seasons then create original chalk drawings of pumpkins ready for harvest.


Steps

1. Study the changing seasons, and how the weather affects plants that grow in various regions. In areas with four seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter), there is an obvious cycle of growth, characterized by beginnings and endings in the plant world. The natural culmination of the growth cycle, which happens when the weather cools, is often celebrated. Some of these celebrations include the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, Halloween in North America, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) in Mexico, and Thanksgiving in many countries.


2. One vegetable often associated with fall harvests is the pumpkin. Pumpkins are sometimes hollowed out, then carved to resemble faces, which were once thought to protect people's households. A candle is placed inside of the pumpkin, which casts an eerie light. Carved pumpkins, called Jack o' Lanterns, can be found on porches and windowsills in late fall.


3. To create your own, friendly pumpkin, begin by touching, smelling, and looking closely at the way pumpkins are shaped. Pumpkins come in many sizes and shapes, but they always have many long grooves that extend from the stem to the bottom. These grooves get wider at the middle of the pumpkin, then narrow at the top and bottom. If you are younger or have special needs, you may wish to run your fingers up and down these grooves. Also, feel the scratchy stem at the top.


4. Begin your Blushing Pumpkin drawing by covering a table with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola® Colored Drawing Chalk to draw a large pumpkin, complete with a stem, on colored paper. Draw a face with rosy cheeks if you like.


5. Color your pumpkin with orange, yellow, and/or brown chalk for a realistic effect, using darker colors to create grooves and shadows. Use pale colors for lighter areas. Blend colors with a paper towel. Remove any chalk dust by lifting your drawing and tapping the bottom edge lightly on the newspaper.


Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Adaptations

  • Create a traditional Jack o' Lantern by drawing its facial features them with black pastel. Draw costumed trick-or-treaters in the background if you like.
  • Draw several pumpkins as they would appear before harvest, growing in a pumpkin patch. The shapes and sizes of the pumpkins would vary (some large, some small), as would the colors (ranging from light green, to dark green, to orange). Include vines and leaves. Check a book on garden vegetables, or visit a pumpkin patch, to see leaf and vine shapes.
  • Scoop pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin. Wash, dry, and bake slowly with a bit of oil for a crunchy, high-fiber snack! Adult assistance is required to assure children's safety when cooking.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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Supplies

crayola supplies
  • Colored Art Chalk
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels

Overview

grades

  • Pre-K and Kindergarten
  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Special Needs

subjects

  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts

time

  • Less than 1/2 hour
  • 30 to 60 minutes

benefits

  • Children identify changes in plant life associated with the seasons.

  • Students closely observe pumpkins, a symbol commonly used during harvest, fall festivals, and autumn holidays.

  • Children draw chalk pumpkins to show their shapes, grooves, stems, and natural colors.

Cirriculum

Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards