The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11580

Pumpkins are usually associated with halloween. Do they really just appear in stores and rise out of pumpkin patches at night? Grow your own and learn about seeds, sprouts, and big orange pumpkins!


Life Science, Life Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Have you ever carved a pumpkin, or eaten a pumpkin pie?
  • Where did that pumpkin come from?
  • Did you know the pumpkins used for carving jack-o-lanterns and making pumpkin pies all come from small seeds?

Take a look at the seeds in the picture below. These seeds are pumpkin seeds. Maybe you have eaten roasted pumpkin seeds. Read on to learn about how these little seeds grow into great big pumpkins!

pumpkin seeds

Like most plants, pumpkins start as a seed.

  • Do you know what a seed needs to grow?

Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

That's right! Seeds need water, sunlight, air, and nutrients from the soil to grow. If a pumpkin seed gets all of the things it needs, it will begin to grow into a sprout.

  • Have you ever seen a pumpkin sprout like this one in the picture?

pumpkin sprout

The little sprout will continue to grow if it gets enough water, sunlight, air, and nutrients from the soil. Big green leaves and long green vines will grow from the little sprout.

Look at the leaves and stems on the pumpkin plants below:

pumpkin leaves

The leaves and vines will grow a yellow flower.

  • What do you think this flower will turn into?

Make a prediction. Share your prediction with your parent or teacher.

pumpkin flower

  • Did you guess the yellow flower would grow into a pumpkin?

Great job! However, before It turns into a great big orange carving pumpkin, ready for a scary face, it needs time to grow and ripen.

Once the flower changes shape, it looks like the pumpkin shown below. This pumpkin looks a little different from your usual pumpkin.

  • What is different about the pumpkin below?

Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

green pumpkin

That's right! It is green!

  • Did you know when pumpkins are not fully grown, they are green?
  • Do you know any other fruits or vegetables that change color when they are fully grown?

As the green pumpkin grows, it will slowly start to turn orange.

  • Do you recognize the pumpkins below?

pumpkin field

These are fully-grown pumpkins that are ready to be harvested!

  • Have you ever been to a pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkins?

If you have a pumpkin patch in your area, call and ask if you can come and take a peek at the pumpkins at different stages as they grow.

Here's what you would see at the pumpkin patch during a few months time. Watch this cool A Pumpkin's Life video by Jon Fletcher to see a pumpkin's life cycle in action!

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  • Did you know pumpkins could grow so big?

Before moving on to the Got It? section, tell your parent or teacher what color pumpkins are before they turn orange.

After answering, move on to the Got It? section to create a cool pumpkin life cycle drawing.

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