Filling Our Pumpkins
Burying Our Pumpkins
Writing About Our Predictions
Returning to the classroom, we made predictions about what we would find when we dig the pumpkin up in April (on Earth Day). I gave students the sentence stem “When we dig up our pumpkin, I think…” and I expected them to finish the sentence and add a detail. Then, students added an illustration to match.
While I considered making a graphic organizer/handout for the activity, I did not want the responsibilities of keeping up with 23 sheets of paper until April…so our writing journals were the perfect sport for recording our ideas! (If you’re brave and want to keep a piece of paper for 6 months, you can snag these recording sheets.)
Before digging-up our pumpkin in April, we will revisit our predictions beforehand and then, write write/diagram our observations afterward. By April, we will be confidently writing paragraphs, so we will turn our learning into paragraphs. Students will have the choice of writing argumentative paragraphs about the importance of reducing waste and working to convince others to care for our Earth and/or inform/explain paragraphs about what happens to our trash.
Right now, I know the lesson was fairly “random”…and it is! We have not talked about protecting the Earth yet, so it seemed like a “just-because” lesson. As we learn more about caring for the Earth and as Earth Day approaches, this demonstration will come to life.
Digging Up Our “Pumpkin”
When we dig up the pumpkin in April, the pumpkin is ‘gone’ as will the vegetables inside the pumpkin, while the Diet Coke can, the drinking straw, and all the other inorganic materials are still be there! There are cheers of “Dig deeper!” and students are incredulous that the pumpkin has disappeared. Where could it have gone??
It is the perfect opportunity to give students a real lesson on why reducing and recycling waste actually matters and what really happens to the trash we throw out! Our classes cannot wait for Earth Day (only 6 months away) to arrive so we can see the fruits of our labor. Until then, happy digging friends!