Now that fall is here and school is well underway, it's a good time to bring out some pumpkins and celebrate the season. Your students will enjoy combining harvest time and fall foods with their math lessons. Today we'll look at some fun ways to incorporate pumpkins with addition and basic fact practice.

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Excel Math Pumpkin Patterns Click here to download |

**Pumpkin Muffin Word Problems**

To help your students solve word problems, bring in some pumpkin muffins. Tell the following story: Emma had 4 muffins. Ethan had 7 muffins. How many muffins did they have together?

Have two students come to the front of the room and count out the number of muffins mentioned. Ask the students how they would find the total. Point out that they should begin adding with the larger number. They could then count on: Ethan has 7 muffins, Emma has 8, 9, 10, 11. Or if they remember that 7 + 3 = 10, they could group together the 10 muffins and add one more for a total of 11.

**Pumpkin Base Ten Cards**

Now have the students use their Base Ten Cards to solve this problem. Some students may choose the card that shows 4 pumpkins. Talk about which number would be easiest to start with. (the largest, which is 7) Ask the students how many more pumpkins they will need to be able to show the word problem with their cards. (4 more if they chose the 7 card)

Excel Math Pumpkin Base Ten Cards Click here to download |

**Pumpkin Hopscotch**

Draw a hopscotch pattern on the floor (or create one with masking tape). Let the students number the large pumpkins 0-11 (one number per pumpkin) and cut them into square shapes to form cards. Have each student initial the back of his cards. Divide the class into pairs. Have each pair combine the cards into one pile. Let one student draw a card from the pile and say the number aloud. The partner goes to the hopscotch grid and takes a number of hops equal the value of that number card. The hopper may have to go down to the end and back (or do it more than once) to use up the value of the number card.

After each partner has a turn drawing a card and hopping, play an addition version. Let both players draw a card and say the number aloud. One player becomes the hopper. The hopper now hops the total number of spaces equal to the value of the two cards added together. If they are unsure, have them use the Base Ten Cards to add the two numbers together before hopping. Play continues with both players drawing a card and a new player becoming the hopper.

Use the Pumpkin Patterns (or some of the number cards your students created) to make a pumpkin bulletin board that can be used for basic fact practice.

What are some fun ways you teach addition using fall visuals? Share your ideas using the Comments box below.

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