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National Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

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Lesson Plans (7)

Pumpkins... Not Just For Halloween (Grades 3-5)

Students estimate the size and weight of pumpkins, sprout pumpkin seeds, and make pumpkin pie in a bag. Grades 3-5

Pumpkins... Not Just For Halloween (Grades K-2)

Students estimate the size and weight of pumpkins, sprout pumpkin seeds, and make pumpkin pie in a bag. Grades K-2

Storing Winter Squash

Students explore a variety of vegetables that can be stored through the colder months, including roots, alliums, cole crops, and winter squash and compare and contrast how families store food now with how they stored food long ago. Grades K-2

The Case of the Missing Pumpkin

Students investigate the phenomenon of decomposing pumpkins as a part of the plant's life cycle. Grades K-2

The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner (Grades 6-8)

In this lesson students will identify common Thanksgiving foods and their farm source, determine if those foods can be produced locally, and locate the common origins of their Thanksgiving day dinner. Grades 6-8

The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner (Grades 9-12)

In this lesson students will identify common Thanksgiving foods and their farm source, determine if those foods can be produced locally, and locate the common origins of their Thanksgiving day dinner. Grades 9-12

Three Sisters Garden

Students investigate the "three sisters" crops (corn, beans, and squash) and explore the benefits of planting these crops together. Grades 3-5

Companion Resources (22)

Activity
Skillet Toasted Squash Seeds
Seeds from winter squash are collected, cleaned, and skillet toasted for a unique and tasty snack.
The Great Pumpkin
This is a fun and simple activity in which students will make a paper-plate model of the life cycle of a pumpkin.
Book
Amara's Farm
Amara is hosting a potluck for friends on her farm, and her snacks won't be complete without pumpkins. She's searched and searched, but she's grown so many plants that she needs help finding them. What do we know about pumpkins? They're large, round, and orange—and, wait a minute, is that a pumpkin? No, that's an apple. Where, oh where could those pumpkins be?
From Seed to Pumpkin
This Stage 1, Let's-Read-and-Find-Out book shows young students how a pumpkin plant grows. The text clearly presents how the plant develops from seed to mature pumpkin as well as how it obtains and distributes water and nutrients. Three children join a farmer as he plants pumpkin seeds, waters them, and observes the plants as they grow. The last two pages give instructions for two activities, "Roasted Pumpkin Seeds" and "How Plants Drink Water." This is an excellent introduction to plant development in general and pumpkins in particular. 
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
Learn all about pumpkins, science, and math as "Mr Tiffin's" class figures out how many seeds are in a pumpkin.
In Search of the Perfect Pumpkin
Follow this family as they search for the perfect pumpkin to make pumpkin pie.
Life Cycles: Pumpkins
Pumpkins is a picture-book celebration of the edible plant. Full-color photography offers a tour of the life of a pumpkin plant, from planting to flower to fruit to harvest, and finally to being carved into a jack-o-lantern. Large photos and simple language make this book ideal for young students.
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden
Pumpkin Circle provides a bug's eye view and a bird's high view of seeds sprouting, flowers blooming, bees buzzing, pumpkins growing and, finally, going back to earth. Told in verse and through dramatic photography as an orange gloved-gardener plants, tends, and harvests a backyard pumpkin patch.
Pumpkin Jack
Join Jack in his voyage of discovery as he experiences death, decomposition and rebirth as his jack-o-lantern fades, rots and new plants grow from a seed left inside the pumpkin shell. That seed sprouts and the growth leads to a new crop of pumpkins.
Pumpkin Pumpkin
The story's character, Jamie, plants a pumpkin seed and observes the plant's growth, blossom formation, and pumpkin growth. A good exposure at an early age to the concept of life cycle.
Pumpkins
From late summer to Thanksgiving, pumpkins are everywhere, a symbol of fall and a reminder of the holidays to come. In this book, Ken Robbins portrays the pumpkin from seed, to sprout, to flower, to fully fledged fruit, and back again. Instructions are given to (safely) carve a jack-o’-lantern.
Rotten Pumpkin: A Rotten Tale in 15 Voices
Compost won't mean the same thing after readers have seen the amazing transformation of Jack from grinning pumpkin to mold-mottled wreckage to hopeful green shoot. The story of decomposition is vividly told so that science comes to life (and death). Part story, part science, and a whole lot of fun.
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie
Pumpkins! Who can resist the sight of big, round, orange pumpkins ripening in a field? Children piling off school buses to pick one out. Carving out funny faces, smiles, or scary frowns to illuminate Halloween doorsteps. Making room for that last piece of pumpkin pie after a delicious Thanksgiving feast. In this book, pumpkins aren’t just a fruit, they’re a symbol, a scent, a flavor of the entire season.
The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin
How big can pumpkins grow? Why do pumpkins have very big leaves? What can we make with pumpkins? Explaining concepts through stunning photographs and simple text, Life Cycle of a Pumpkin takes an in-depth look at this familiar but fascinating plant.
The Prized Pumpkin
Tori and Jade are best friends until a friendly competition to grow the most prized pumpkin nearly tears their friendship apart! Come along as they create plans, work with an agronomist and beekeeper, learn from their mistakes and successes all in an effort to grow weird, warty, and ginormous pumpkins. The summer of the prized pumpkin competition will be one Tori and Jade will never forget!
The Pumpkin Book
Big, small, round, tall—pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes. Here one learns the marvels of the growth cycle of these incredible plants—from flat seeds, to thick vines covered in golden flowers, to brilliant orange pumpkins! Gail Gibbons also relates the special role pumpkins played in the first Thanksgiving. Simple and clear directions for drying seeds, planting and tending pumpkin patches, and carving funny or scary faces are included in the book, along with a fascinating section on pumpkin facts and lore.
The Vegetable Alphabet Book
A wonderful blend of facts and humor make learning about vegetable gardening fun and easy for children. The wonderful, accurate illustrations guide children through a variety of vegetables and terms from A to Z relating to vegetable gardening.
Booklet/Reader
Pumpkin Reader
Use this 4-page reader for students to self-discover facts about pumpkins. What are pumpkins?  Topics include: Pumpkin vocabulary, plant anatomy, pumpkin history, varieties of pumpkins, and more.
Movie/Video
All About the Pumpkin Video
In two minutes, this video engagingly delivers a host of facts about pumpkins. Students will learn that each pumpkin has about 500 seeds, pumpkins originated in Central America, 19th century New Englanders thought that pumpkins could cure snake bites, and much more.
Epic Pumpkin Collapse Timelapse
Observe the decomposition of a Jack-o-lantern in time-lapse over an 8-week period of time. 
Pumpkin: How Does it Grow?
You've been duped: that "pumpkin" puree in the can isn't pumpkin at all — at least not the kind you think! We bust the great American pumpkin myth and discover why we grow 500 million pounds of the stuff each year — without eating any of it.
Website
Thanksgiving Maps and Posters
Visit this website to see maps and graphs to discover where your Thanksgiving dinner foods such as green beans, carrots, celery, sweet corn, cranberries, onions, pecans, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, turkey, and wheat were produced.