Our Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

On Friday, October 7, we went to the Denver Botanic Gardens- Chatfield Farms Pumpkin Patch!

Earlier that week, we started thinking about what we already knew about pumpkins:

  • Most of them are orange, but some can be white or bluish-green.
  • Pumpkins can grow in many different sizes!
  • Pumpkins grow on the ground, but we weren’t sure how.
  • We know that pumpkins have a LOT of seeds inside their “guts.”

We still had some questions – “How do they grow on the ground?” “After you plant a seed, what happens?” So, we watched some videos and did a little research. We discovered that there are 6 stages to a pumpkin:

  1. Seed
  2. Sprout
  3. Vine
  4. Flower
  5. Green pumpkin
  6. Orange pumpkin (or “adult” pumpkin)

We like to draw what we learn, so we drew each stage to help us figure this out. Here are some of our drawings:


We also found a really fun song by Brian Vogan called “That’s How A Pumpkin Grows.” We can’t stop singing this song! (You can follow Brian Vogan on Twitter !)

Finally, it was time to go to the Pumpkin Patch! We got to pick our own pumpkins… and since we learned they grow on a vine, we knew we had to use some force to actually pick our pumpkins. Mrs. B showed us how to twist the pumpkin on the vine and then step on the vine to separate the pumpkin. Some of our pumpkins ended up with long stems, and some were short.

We saw a lot of small pumpkins, medium-sized pumpkins, and some really, REALLY big pumpkins! Some were smooth, some were round, some were oddly shaped, and some even had some cool bumps on them. It was fun seeing all the different types of pumpkins.

Later, we read a book called How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow by Wendell Minor. This book helped us to learn different words for “really, really big:” giant, enormous, gigantic, immense, and colossal. These are fun words to say, and now we don’t have to use “very” or “really” when we want to describe something “humongous!” (This was a fun word that CM shared with us when we read this book. We like it, too!)

After we read this book, JF asked what the biggest pumpkin in the world would be. We all liked that question! We did a little research and found that the 2016 world record for biggest pumpkin in the world is 2,623 pounds. The man who grew that pumpkin is Mathias Willemijns from Belgium. That pumpkin weighs almost as much as Mrs. B’s car!

We learned a lot about pumpkins, and we’re still reading more pumpkin books and singing pumpkin songs. It seems to be the right time of year for that!

Block 1 – Who We Are

“Character, and who I am, is influenced by many factors.”

That’s the statement we started with at the first part of Block 1 – “Who We Are.” Block 1 at our school is always about our identity. We start out getting to know our classmates and other students at Anastasis. For our class, it was learning a lot about what we like to play and how we make friends.

Anastasis also holds an Identity Day in the first few weeks of every school year. We want to know more about the people in our school, and we feel more like family after this day!

Some of the activities we did during this block included drawing self-portraits and thinking about who we want to be when we grow up. One of our favorite activities was drawing ourselves as stick people and then using our 5 senses to share more about who we are NOW. Some of us drew photos of our our feet playing soccer or dancing. Some drew pizza near a mouth and music near ears. Mrs. Baldwin was really happy to see so many people drawing a heart and writing the words “good friend” right next to it.

During this block, we talked about stories we read, and how we see “good guys” and “bad guys”, or HEROES and VILLAINS. We wondered if these stories influence the way we think about ourselves and other people. We thought through stories we already knew and made a list of heroes and villains. We read some new stories and added to our list.

We also made a list of characteristics of heroes and villains, but we noticed that sometimes, heroes might look different than what we expect. A lot of us thought heroes have to big and strong like Superman or have special powers like Elsa. But then we thought about the fable, The Lion and the Mouse. The mouse saves the lion in that fable, and mice are very tiny! We decided that heroes (and villains) can look very different. Their actions are what make them heroes or villains.

After a while, we noticed that some characters start as villains and become heroes later in the story (and vice versa). This was a new discovery for some of us… we thought bad guys are always bad, and good guys are always good. Now we know that people, even in stories, have a little bit of light and a little bit of dark in them.

We thought about what that means for us! If we make a bad choice, does that mean we are a villain? Is it possible to ALWAYS be the hero? We like the idea that we can be forgiven for mistakes, and that we can even LEARN from our mistakes. We all decided we would like to be the kind of people who could forgive others for mistakes, too.

As we move forward into the school year, we want to keep thinking about who we are and how our character is influenced by our friends, our families, the stories we read, and our actions.




Day of Play 2016

Every year, our school participates in the Global Day of Play and the #cardboardchallenge. It’s one of the days we LOVE!

This year, we decided we would all create photo booths out of cardboard. The photo booths would showcase one country, so each class would do some research and learning about those countries. Our class chose to research China.

We started asking ourselves… what would we put into a photo booth to share about that country’s culture? We decided we would look at some of the most famous places in China and choose from there. Mrs. Baldwin helped us look up “famous places and cultural icons in China.” We found:

  • The Great Wall of China
  • Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Army
  • dragons in parades, stories, and decorations
  • a lot of beautiful temples
  • lots of photos of pandas

We investigated together to learn more about the Great Wall of China. We asked: How long is it? How did they build it? WHO built it? What is it made of?

We learned that two different dynasties ordered people to build the wall. The first emperor was Emperor Qin. The wall was 3,100 miles and took ten years to build. The Ming Dynasty rebuilt some of the wall and added on to it. The Great Wall is over 5,500 miles! It’s made of granite, brick, and limestone. 5,500 miles is a lot! We used base 10 blocks to try to figure it out. 5,500 miles in base 10 blocks would be more than 5 red cubes and 5 blue squares, if each block equals 1 mile. Wow! For perspective, we learned that most of us live between 5-10 miles from our school. That’s only a few yellow base 10 blocks or 1 green bar.

We were a little worried about how we would build our photo booth AND all of the parts to show what we learned about China. We were very grateful that some students from Mr. Fink’s class helped us build the actual photo booth! Most of our class worked to plan how they would build the Great Wall on our photo booth. Two students worked to research Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Army. Other students studied pandas and dragons, and a few studied all the beautiful temples.

Before we started building, we designed plans for what we were going to make out of cardboard. After we were happy with our plans, we started building! The Great Wall was the hardest to plan, because it had to go all the way across our photo booth. Can you find all the different things we learned about in our photo booth photos?