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How Tall is Your Pumpkin

by Early Math Counts

A couple of years ago, when we explored apples and one of our Thursday Themes, we took a stab at figuring out the circumferences using string.  You can also use string to figure out how tall your pumpkins are.

Have children hold string next to their pumpkins from the top of their stems to the bottom of the body.  You can help cut the strings so they are about the right length of the height of the pumpkin.  Now, you have several strings of different lengths that can be laid next to one another to create a graph all on their own.

If you use yarn, each child could have a different color so they know which one is theirs.  Otherwise, you need to label the strings so the children can remember which one is theirs.  These varying lengths of string can be used for comparisons, for sequencing and for documenting the different heights of the pumpkins.

Another way to measure the height of the pumpkins is by using Unifix cubes.  The children can put the cubes together until they are the same height as their pumpkin.  You can then count the cubes to see which pumpkin is the tallest and which pumpkin is the shortest.

4 Replies to “How Tall is Your Pumpkin”

  1. Hi Jen!

    These are indeed such fun ways to acclimate parents teachers to math concepts and takes away fear and dread of therms/concepts like \”circumference\” \”diameter\” \”height\” and \”length\” – Yesterday, we had an interesting discussion about pumpkin farm trips with our classes or children we care for and all of the wonderful ways to find the math in science during our field trips – I know the students will have fun using string and unifix cubes to measure our treasures from the visit to the pumpkin farms –

    1. I went to a talk yesterday hosted by the UIC Public Policy folks. Dr. Daryl Greenfield spoke about science and ECE. Over the next couple of week., I plan to write about his research. It is very close to what we believe about Math here at Early Math Counts. Look for it because he would completely agree with you about Pumpkin Patches and science opportunities.

      1. Jen:

        That is awesome ! We are now entering the science segment of the course – and preparing our curriculum webs – each of the groups are developing themes. I am so pleased to see the students discuss the web relating both science and math to their topic choice, as they explore Math At Home and the Erickson\’s Math Collaborative sites.

        Both you and Carrie have \”gifted\” students – parents and caregivers with these outstanding sources – can\’t wait to hear what you discover at your conference this week

  2. I love the idea of using unifix cubes to count the height of different sized pumpkins. It would be a very visual display of the varying heights. You could then use string to do each child’s height and compare that, followed by graphing.

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