Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Globes

Hello darlings!  Is it Friday yet?  Yeah, I know, don't tell me!

In third grade, we are learning about continents and oceans.  As a culminating project, we make duh, duh, duh, da... Pumpkin Globes!  It is so fun and my past kiddos always come back and tell me how much they loved it!    We send home a little note a few weeks before, asking parents to send in a medium sized pumpkin.  I tell the kiddos not to bring the pumpkin until the day it is needed so we don't have pumpkins hanging out all over our classroom.  (and I had one rot before)  This project lasts three days because I break it down into steps.

1.  The first thing we do, it draw the equator across the horizontal half of the pumpkin.  I tell kiddos to do this slowly, otherwise their lines won't meet up on the other side.

2.  Next, they draw the Prime Meridian down the vertical half of the pumpkin.  Same thing, do it slow.  Most of the time, you can use the natural rim/rings of the pumpkin for this.

3. I gather up as many globe as I can from other teachers so that my kiddos can have an up close comparison tool.

 4.The first continent they must draw is Africa.  The "armpit" part of Africa fits perfectly right above where the equator and Prime Meridian meet. You can kind of see it in this pic.

5. Now they can line up all the other continents and use the globe to help them draw the correct shapes.  I tell them to pay CLOSE attention to how close the continents get to the equator and Prime Meridian.  For example, Asia, does not go past the equator.

6.  The next day, we paint.  Make sure to tell kiddos to wear old clothes or bring a paint shirt.  They WILL get paint on them!  Don't ask me how, but every year, someone ends up with paint in their hair! (and it is usually a boy...)

I designate one table in my room to be the painting table.  I cover that bad boy with tons of newspaper!  I usually can fit about 6 kiddos at a time to paint, while the rest work on various assignments   I just put out a few paper plates (not bowls because they spill) and one paint brush for each kiddo.  Usually 3 for blue paint and 3 for green paint. Once a kiddo is done painting the oceans, he trades his brush with another kiddo to do the green continents. I don't wash out brushes between and change colors.  Oh Lordy what a mess!  P.S.  Make sure to use ACRYLIC paint!  Tempera paint will chip off and be gross.  Kiddos will NOT be able to label the continents.  Believe me, I learned this the hard way!  You also need to clean your brushes out really well or this paint with ruin them.

I do not have my kiddos paint Antarctica   They just leave the bottom blank.

When they finish, they hold the stem and the bottom and take it out in the hall.  We already lined the wall area with newspaper and each kiddo has a paper plate labeled with his/her name to set the pumpkin on.  That way we can identify them later. =)   Now they need to go to the bathroom to wash up.

7.  The next day, the paint has dried and so we label the continents.  Ask parents to donate permanent markers and just be aware, after the kiddos use them for this project, they will probably be ruined.  After nine years, I have STILL not found a solution that I like yet.  I've tried making little signs and sticking them on with toothpicks.  That made the pumpkin look like a porcupine.... I tried taping on a label, but they would fall off...  So I am sticking with the markers that get ruined!

I still use one toothpick and a little piece of paper to make a sign for the kiddos to write their names on.  They stick these on the tops of their pumpkins when they are totally finished and we display them in they hall.  Throw away all the paper.  

 Good luck and have fun!


  1. These are precious. Great idea. Wish I had parents that would purchase pumpkins ;)

    1. I have also asked local stores to donate pumpkins. Maybe try that. I hope it works!

  2. This is seriously such an awesome idea! I bet the kids had so much fun and learned a lot too. This is such a great, educational way to use pumpkins! Thanks for sharing.

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, the kiddos LOVE it!

  3. Absolutely love this idea!!! :)

  4. This is brilliant, thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. D @ Reading with Mrs. D

  5. I use to do the pumpkin globes but I found an easier way. We paper maiche balloons and then paint on or maiche the continents on. I coordinate with the art teacher and the students do all the messy work in art class. It's been a great collaboration project.


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