Exploring Thematic Themes-PreK Pumpkin Unit

Credit: Shaun Holloway

                       Credit: Shaun Holloway

For this week’s post we will further explore the pumpkin unit theme that I introduced last week.  I really, really enjoy diving into this theme with preschoolers! They get so excited and can learn so much from hands on activities.


Why Pumpkins?

There are many reasons why I think that it’s important to include a pumpkin themed unit for preschoolers.  One reason is because it’s a great opportunity to work in science experiences. Children this age really enjoy seeing how a seed is transformed into a pumpkin that they can carve. It also is a great way to tie in the changing of the seasons to fall. Another reason is because it provides fantastic sensory experiences that help children learn to process input from all five senses.  Children can observe, describe, feel, and taste pumpkin. Lastly, another reason that it is important is because it is easily adapted and utilized to teach a wide variety of skills for different learning styles and needs.

There are so many skills that can be taught from a pumpkin theme. It’s easy to get excited about so many different activities, specific topics, worksheets, learning centers, and snacks to plan. First, I would suggest carefully considering where your students are developmentally and what skills need addressed. Then you can choose a few activities for each domain you want to cover or skills you want to teach. Create your list of overall goals of what you want the children to learn from this unit.

Create Goals

Below are just 5 very general goals that may be appropriate for your preschool age students:

Goal 1: Children will examine, explore, and understand the life cycle of a pumpkin.

Goal 2: Children will use vocabulary words to properly describe a pumpkins shape, color, texture, and smell.

Goals 3: Children will help create and explore pumpkin flavored foods by touch, taste, and smell.

Goal 4: Children will strengthen fine motor skills by manipulating small pumpkin themed toys, centers, and picking pumpkin seeds out of the pulp.

Goal 5:  Children use pumpkin seeds to practice

These goals are just some examples of ideas that you could adapt to fit your students and their current needs. Once you have a good idea of what skills or goals you have, you can create a plan for your activities. One tool you can use when planning your curriculum for this unit is a web. This is a helpful way to organize your thoughts and activities. Here is an example below:


I hope you find this post helpful! If you have any feedback or questions please let me know in the comments below.

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