One of our favourite ways to optimize the learning that comes from the interests of the children in our program is by scaffolding on experiences. A walk to Douglas Park earlier in the fall started an interest in pumpkins when our group noticed small orange berries falling from a tree. Clark and Olivia named these “perfect little pumpkins”, observing their round, orange attributes and tiny stem at the top, similar to that of a pumpkin.
To dive deeper into this interest, a large pumpkin was brought in for a multi-sensory experience. Our group was able to look, touch, smell, listen, and even taste the differences between the outside and inside of a pumpkin while recording our observations. The children were enamoured by all the possibilities that this pumpkin presented, providing the perfect opportunity to scaffold once again.
To conclude our series on the exploration of pumpkins, we had the opportunity to create a pumpkin patch of our own at NithRidge Estate and pick out a pumpkin to take home. We were able to choose a pumpkin from a field full of them, recreating the natural environment in which pumpkins are grown and the process of retrieving or harvesting them for personal use. We spoke about many uses for pumpkins: decorations, carving, baking, feeding animals, and more. What will you do with your pumpkin to scaffold on this experience at home?