Every fall I put out a pumpkin life cycle activity. Prior to putting this out on the shelf, I read books about pumpkins to the children. The two best books I've found about pumpkins for this age group are shown below.
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie is a newer (2009) book about pumpkins that I used this year for the first time. I bought my copy at Barnes and Noble this summer, but it can also be found on Amazon. The photos in this book are amazing. I especially like the huge photo of the yellow pumpkin flower.
My other current favorite is It's Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall and Shari Halpern. It is a simple story with great illustrations that shows the pumpkin life cycle in a straightforward manner. It can also be found on Amazon.
This year we did our pumpkin life cycle as shown below. I prepared "pumpkins" using two orange paper plates staple together. I cut a slice from one side of one plate to make an opening. I also pushed out the rounded part of the top plate so the inside would be "hollow". Then I stapled a little stem on top and taped a piece of green yarn inside for the pumpkin vine. Two very helpful moms prepared the life cycle pictures by cutting them out and paper-clipping them together in a set. Other supplies were glue sticks and colored pencils.
I stuck a finished life cycle vine to the back of the shelf for the children to use as a reference for coloring and sequencing their pictures. CLICK HERE for a link to the printable I used for the life cycle pictures.
Below is a photo of a life cycle completed by a student in my class this week. I have been so impressed with how successful even my youngest students can be with this activity when it is presented as shown. They are so proud to take home their pumpkins and pull the "surprise" out of the inside to show their families about the pumpkin life cycle.