Pumpkin Math

Every autumn, we enjoy a little pumpkin math!

All our children participate according to their abilities – from the 4yo to the 14yo.  This year, the 11yo and 14yo were expected to measure with complete accuracy, while the 4yo dabbled in learning how to measure.  He used standard (rulers) and non-standard (blocks) measuring tools.

We measured the height and width of each pumpkin.
We measured the weight with our bathroom scale. A nice kitchen scale (which we don’t own) would’ve provided more accurate measurements.
We measured the circumference and the big kids used formulas to determine the diameter and radius.
Here’s the beginning of Mahayla’s record keeping.
When Eli saw his big brother and big sister keeping records, he insisted that he have a record keeping sheet, too.  W = wide and T = tall. 
We did a water displacement activity to find the volume of our pumpkins (you’ll see below), but we didn’t have a big enough container marked with measurements to make the pumpkin displacement accurate. To demonstrate the correct way to find volume, we used a measuring cup and potato. At least this gave them a better idea what we were doing wrong in measuring the volume of our pumkins.
In measuring the volume of our pumpkins, we made our own measurement bucket for estimations, but realized our measurements probably were not perfect, nor could we see through the bucket to see exact water levels. At least they have the experience and understand the flaws in our trial.
Of course, we couldn’t end the lesson without carving our pumpkins! Through this process, we continued to measure width of the skin, depth of the cavity, and such. We also talked “science” as we discussed the pumpkin parts and their functions.
And, we couldn’t end the lesson without a pumpkin treat. These are simple pumpkin bars that are so moist, they don’t even need icing!

I hope you’ll take time to enjoy some pumpkin math at your house!

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