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Get the Squeeze on Summer
Celebrate summer with a Watermelon Day and spend the whole day learning about this delicious fruit, or use these ideas along with your other summer lesson plans. Any way you slice it, your preschoolers will have a blast!
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Math and Science
Bring in a watermelon for some fun math and science activities.
Before slicing the watermelon, talk about the rind. What color is it? Do we eat it? Cut the watermelon into slices and give each student a slice on a paper plate to observe. Ask them what they see and what color the inside of the watermelon is. Point out the seeds. Have each student remove the seeds from his or her slice and put them in a small paper cup to be used later. Finally, let them taste the watermelon.
If your students keep a science notebook, have them draw and color a picture of a watermelon slice in it. Tell them to be sure to include the rind, the fruit, and the seeds in their drawings.
For an easy math activity, help each child count how many seeds were in their slice. Make a chart or graph with each child's name and the number of seeds they counted. Talk about what they found. Who had the most seeds? the least? the same number?
For other math activities, you can bring in several watermelons of different sizes and put them in order from smallest to largest. Then, weigh them and put them in order again. You could also measure the lengths and widths using nonstandard units of measurement like cubes or standard ones like inches on a tape measure.
Growing Watermelon Seeds
Plant your watermelon seeds and let your preschoolers watch a watermelon plant sprout and begin to grow. Read a book about a plant life cycle like Watermelons (Life Cycles) by Julie Murray when you plant the seed. This activity also goes well with a preschool unit about plants.
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Books to Share
Watermelon Day by Kathi Appelt
A little girl waits all summer for a watermelon to ripen so that she can have a watermelon day with her family. This is a great story to capture the feeling of a long, hot summer, taking care of a special plant, and the reward that finally comes with patience and waiting.
Peter Spit a Seed at Sue by Jackie French Koller
This fun, rhyming story is about four bored children who spend a summer day eating watermelons and spitting out the seeds. Pretty soon the rest of the town joins them in this silly story that young children will want to hear again and again.
Watermelon Wishes by Lisa Moser
This is a sweet story about a boy and his grandfather who plant a watermelon patch together and then spend a special summer fishing, playing basketball, and swimming together while the grandfather tries to guess what the boy would wish for if one of the watermelons they grew granted wishes.
These books and activities relating to summer and watermelons are perfect resources for "seeding" your preschoolers learning and squeezing the fun right into their hands!
- Kollar, Jackie French. Peter Spit a Seed at Sue. Viking, 2008.
- Moser, Lisa. Watermelon Wishes. Clarion Books, 2006.
- Image: Watermelon Day from Amazon
- Murray, Julie. Watermelons. Buddy Books, 2007.
- Author's personal classroom experience
- Applet, Kathi. Watermelon Day. Holt and Co. 1996.