Decay and Growth
Understanding the process of decay and how it leads to new growth is an important science concept that young children need to learn. Watching a pumpkin decay is a common way for them to discover this process. Carving a pumpkin and then placing it on your porch will lead to discoveries of how it molds and decays. We often throw it away, however, instead of allowing it to become compost. This year, take a pumpkin (carved or not) to a place in your yard or garden where your child or students can watch the decaying process. Create a notebook to record what you see, smell, and feel as you observe what happens to the pumpkin over time.
Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater Lyrics
Who loves pumpkins more than Peter Peter? If you are familiar with the old nursery rhyme of Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, you know that Peter puts his wife in a pumpkin shell. The original lyrics of the Mother Goose Rhyme go like this:
Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, had a wife and couldn’t keep her.
He put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well.-Mother Goose
Using this traditional rhyme and idea, Dawn Stephens Books has created a book that illustrates the decay and growth process of a pumpkin. In the tale, Peter Peter and his wife are squirrels. Peter loves eating pumpkins so much, that he wants his wife to live inside one. However, she cannot stay in the pumpkin because it decays. The lyrics to Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater in this version explain what happens to the pumpkin in the process.
Pumpkin Decay and Growth
The pumpkin decay makes great compost and can fertilize the growth of a new pumpkin.
Lastly, Peter and his wife discover that the rotten pumpkin is valuable after all. A vine, then a flower, and eventually a new pumpkin grows.
Pumpkin Life Cycle Worksheet
To get you started with learning about the decay and growth of a pumpkin, Peter and his wife have some FREE Activities. Fill out the form below and we will send you a Pumpkin Life Cycle Worksheet, a Vocabulary Worksheet, and a Journal page to document the decomposition of a pumpkin.
Subscribe for your FREE pumpkin life cycle worksheet and other activities here.