Lesson Overview

 40 Minutes

 3, 4, 5

 2nd - 8th Grade

 State Standards:
NGSS: 2-LS4-1, 2-PS1-3, K-2-ETS1-2, CCSS: W.2.7, W.2.8, Math: MP.4

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Materials List

  • Pumpkins of different sizes
  • Large clear container
  • Water
  • Optional- modeling clay, pumpkin and apple seeds

Math & Science Pumpkins – Activity 2

Categories: Agriculture , Math & Measurements , Plants

This is a fun and surprising activity. Use pumpkins and other objects to teach students why objects float or sink in water.


  • Fill a large container (clear is best) with water.
  • Have students make a prediction about whether or not a pumpkin will float or sink in the water. Record the numbers for each (yes/no) on the board. Ideally, have pumpkins of different sizes and ask students to predict which ones will float or sink. Ask them why they think the different sized pumpkins will float or not. Students will likely say the smaller pumpkins will float and the larger ones will sink. (Pumpkins, no matter what their size, float.)
  • Place the pumpkins in the tub of water and watch what happens.
  • What else floats or sinks? Why?

For full instructions, please download our PDF

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