Harker preschoolers enjoyed a delightful pre-Halloween activity, reading the book “Pumpkin Jack” and carving their own pumpkins!
“In this story, a boy named Tim carves a pumpkin that he loves very much and names Jack,” explained Amanda Crook, preschool STEM specialist. “Jack starts getting old and Tim takes Jack to their garden where you watch page by page the transformations Jack makes during the decomposing process.
“In the middle of the book, nothing remains but a stem, old skin and some seeds. Tim says goodbye as he covers the seeds with dirt. Springtime arrives and Tim finds a sprout where Jack was. Tim nurtures the sprout as we follow the life cycle and growth of the pumpkin plant. By the end of the story Tim has many pumpkins that he shares with friends but keeps one for himself. Tim carves another face on his pumpkin and welcomes Jack back,” Crook said.
As the year progresses, each cottage will watch their pumpkin decompose and, hopefully, sprout again. The children will learn new vocabulary as they document the process through photos and observational drawings. “The students are excited to see this process through, and it will give them the opportunity to see that science does not always have instant results and often takes time and patience,” said Crook. For now, each cottage’s pumpkin has been placed outside the front of the STEM lab in the butterfly garden, and the cycle continues!