Pumpkin Study

Wander & Wonder | Digital Short
Oct 24, 2020 | 10 min

While carving pumpkins this year, take a closer look. What's different? What's the same? Let's do a pumpkin study.


  • Two pumpkins
  • Scale
  • Measuring tape
  • Markers
  • Pumpkin carving tool set
  • Birthday streamers (or other material that can be wrapped around a pumpkin with ease)



  1. Pick one pumpkin to claim as your own. The other pumpkin will be assigned to your partner.
  2. Look for similarities and differences between the two pumpkins.
  3. Using the markers, draw a Venn diagram, labeling one circle with your name, and the other circle with your partner’s name. 
  4. Use these circles to document differences between the two pumpkins. If there are any similarities between the two pumpkins, write them down in the area where the two circles overlap.
  5. Consider some things that might set the two pumpkins apart. This can include color, stem length, circumference, and weight. Color and stem length can be measured by simply looking at the two pumpkins. However, weight and circumference must be measured using specific tools.
  6. To measure the circumference of each pumpkin, wrap a birthday streamer roll around the pumpkin. 
  7. Cut the streamer when you have successfully wrapped it around the full width of the pumpkin.
  8. Then, remove the streamer from around the pumpkin and lay it flat on a flat surface. Take out your tape measurer and measure the length of each streamer. If one streamer is longer than the other, then that means that the circumference is bigger. Record each pumpkin’s circumference in the Venn diagram.
  9. To measure the weight of each pumpkin, make sure that the scale is turned on and set to ounces. Then, place one pumpkin on the scale and record the number of ounces it weighs in your Venn diagram.
  10. Take the first pumpkin off the scale and place the second pumpkin on it instead. Record the number of ounces it weighs in your Venn diagram.
  11. Now it is time to consider some similarities between the two pumpkins. All pumpkins should have a brown spot on the bottom, called the “blossom end”. Check to see if both of the pumpkins have a blossom end.
  12. Next, check to see if both pumpkins have vertical lines traveling from the bottom of the pumpkin to the top. These lines are called ribs.
  13.  Compare the shapes of your pumpkins. They should be the same shape, known as a sphere.
  14. Now that you have recorded some similarities and differences between the two pumpkins, it is time to carve them. 
  15. Before carving, review some of the parts of a pumpkin, including the stem, the ribs, the skin, the flesh, the seeds, and the pulp.
  16. Take a carving knife and carve a circle on the top of the pumpkin around the stem.
  17. Remove the circle you cut out by pulling the stem upwards. You should see each pumpkin has seeds and pulp on the inside. Add this as a similarity on the Venn diagram.
  18. Remove the seeds and pulp from the center of the pumpkin.
  19. Draw a design on the pumpkin.
  20. Use carving tools to carve out your design on the pumpkin.