Blooming Jack-o-lanterns

Fall is in the air and many children will be visiting pumpkin patches in the next few weeks – either for a class field trip or as a family excursion. The following is a list of questions that parents/teachers can use as a guide while carving pumpkins. The questions are organized into different Thinking Skills, as proposed by Benjamin Bloom, a well-respected researcher in the field of education. I have written a few questions under each section. It is not necessary to use every question before proceeding to the next level. Rather, encourage your child to explain their answers as much as possible, providing support and guidance as needed. These questions may best be suited for children in the primary school years (ages 5 to 8) but can be used for older children who are experiencing language delays.

Knowledge:
What materials do we need to carve a pumpkin? (e.g., newspaper, marker, knife/carving tool, spoon)
What is inside of the pumpkin? (e.g., seeds, pulp)

Comprehension:
What are the steps to carving a pumpkin? (Encourage any logical sequence)
How do we scoop out the seeds/pulp (e.g., with our hands/spoon)

Application:
What would happen if we used a plastic knife? (e.g., knife would break; we would not be able to cut the pumpkin)
What other foods might feel like the inside of a pumpkin? (Answers will vary)
How will we roast the pumpkin seeds (e.g., in the oven)

Analysis:
This jack-o-lantern has two eyes. How many eyes would there be if we carved 3 pumpkins? (6)
How does a pumpkin grow? (Encourage any logical response)

Synthesis:
What could we make with the pulp and seeds? (e.g., roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie)
How is a pumpkin similar to a watermelon? How is it different? (Answers will vary)
Draw a creative face for your jack-o-lantern (the child may draw a number of different faces on paper first)

Evaluation:
What is your favourite part about Halloween?
Do you like scary or silly jack-o-lantern faces? Why?
Is carving a pumpkin a good activity for young children to do on their own? Why or Why not?

Happy Halloween!

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