1st Grade Pumpkin Patterns

The Novak Pumpkin Patch
My sister and Miss Piggy
When I was little my grandparents had a pumpkin farm where every fall the family would harvest and sell pumpkins.  They had all sizes of pumpkins and all sorts of 'scarecrows' like Miss Piggy!!  Even though there are now houses in the field and there haven't been pumpkins grown there in over 20 years people still knock on Gram's door asking where the pumpkin farm of their youth is located.  For me, having pumpkins this time of year is not only an inspiration for my students, but holds a special place in my heart.

I originally saw this lesson idea on pinterest, but it is actually from Adventures from an Art Teacher blog.  It is a wonderful lesson for patterns as well as tying in student's interest and excitement for pumpkins!

Students and I first talk about patterns and when it means.  They give me examples and I write them on the board. (big, small, big, small)  After a few examples I write up a few harder ones and have them give me a "thumbs up" if it is a pattern and a "thumbs down" if it isn't.  This gives me a good idea of who is struggling with patterns and who really understands.  I then make a super simple pattern of "medium pumpkin" over and over and over.  I ask them to give me a "thumbs up or down".  I get a lot of confusion on this one - it stumps a lot of kids.  Many say it's not a pattern - but we find out that it is a pattern!  The same pumpkin is repeated over and over and over.  I always have one student say, "but it's not a very good pattern" - exactly!  Then we quickly talk about making it the best pattern then can!

After they draw their pumpkin pattern they have to decide where their pumpkins are - inside, outside, night time, day time, under the sea, in space, in candy land... etc.

When everything is drawn in pencil they Sharpie outline EVERYTHING.  We of course discuss that sharpies are ONLY for paper and not fingers, tables, clothes - etc.

Now, normally I would have had students color these with crayon and watercolored over top of them - but being that I was hired only a couple of weeks ago I had not yet found watercolors while cleaning.... So, I had students color them with washable markers then 'paint' water overtop!  WAH-LA!  Pictures that look painted even though they were really colored!  The kids really loved watching the marker change to 'paint'.


Katie Morris said...

Thanks for sharing! The markers were a good idea.

Ms Novak said...

Thanks. It was one of those "oh crud - I have no idea where the watercolors are even if I have any.... uh what to do.... A-HA!" Honestly, some of my best lessons happen at the very last moment before utter catastrophe!