Too Many Pumpkins is one of my favorite fall books to share in the classroom. I love how this story starts with too many pumpkins but ends with just enough seeds. It is a great lesson in problem solving.
Rebecca Estelle has hated pumpkins ever since she was a girl when pumpkins were the main food her family had to eat for a time. When pumpkins start growing in her yard, she is determined to get rid of them. Rebecca comes up with a clever plan and in the end, the pumpkins bring all her neighbors together.
Read Aloud Questions
- Have you ever seen pumpkins growing?
- Why does the word too in the title have the letter “o” twice?
- How many pumpkins do you think are too many?
- How did Rebecca feel when she found the first pumpkin in her yard?
- What did Rebecca do when she found more pumpkins growing?
- How did her feelings change about pumpkins at the end of the story?
- In what ways did she try to get rid of the pumpkins?
- Why did she carve the pumpkins?
- Did Rebecca have a good solution? Why?
Connecting Standards to Too Many Pumpkins
Pumpkins are a great topic for beginning research. In addition to nonfiction books in your library and encyclopedias, check out Cool Kid Facts to learn 23 Interesting Facts About Pumpkins. (The site is for Teachers and students and the content is 100% kid-friendly).
Give your students some themed writing options: How to grow a pumpkin, How to carve a pumpkin, or How to make a pumpkin pie.
Several events in the story led to other specific happenings such as:
CAUSE: When Rebecca was a little girl, they didn’t have much money.
EFFECT: They ate lots of pumpkins and so she ended up hating pumpkins.
Have students find the cause-and-effect correlations throughout the story.
EXTEND THE STORY WITH THESE PUMPKIN ACTIVITIES
You can find a short Scholastic video on YouTube that shows the life cycle of a pumpkin. Here is a cute little song by FoodCorps to remember the pumpkin life cycle. Kids National Geographic has some pumpkin decorating tips.
If you’re looking for more activities for this book, check out the Learning Through Literature book companion in the Resource Ranch store.
Rhonda is the author of Resource Ranch. Most of her classroom experience has been in early elementary. She has also taught Title I Reading, ESL, and gifted students. She is certified as a Texas teacher in grades 1-8 and as a K-12 librarian.