All Things Pumpkins

Happy October! When our calendar flips to October, our first thought is Halloween. What goes better with Halloween than candy and costumes? PUMPKINS! Here at Illinois Ag in the Classroom we celebrate and talk about pumpkins all year long. However, there is no better time to talk about them with your students than in the fall. Take a look at all of our pumpkin resources that are the perfect addition to ANY and ALL classrooms!


Check out these pumpkin facts:

  • Illinois farmers grow more pumpkins than anywhere else in the world.
  • Pumpkins are 90% water.
  • Over 85% of the world's canned pumpkin is processed in Morton, Illinois.
  • 70% of pumpkin related sales happen between September and November
  • National Pumpkin Day is October 26th.
  • Columbus carried pumpkin seeds back to Europe where they were used as animal feed.
All Things Pumpkins

Ag Mag Activities

Our Ag Mags are one of the most popular resources when it comes to Ag in the Classroom here in Illinois. Check out our one centered on all things pumpkin! Not only can you read the Ag Mag, but we also have TWO activities that play hand in hand with it. Ag-Venture with Pumpkins follows the Ag Mag to help students develop non-fiction literacy skills while learning more about IL pumpkins. Blackout Pumpkin Patch Poetry taps into students' creativity and allows them to explore a new type of poetry.

Recommended Reading

Pre-K - 4th Grade

"Big Pumpkin" by Erica Silverman
"Too Many Pumpkins" by Linda White
"Little Boo" by Stephen Wunderli
"Pumpkin Jack" by Will Hubbell
"How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?" by Margaret McNamara
"Pumpkin Pie for Sigd" by Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod


5th Grade - High School

"Pumpkinheads" by Rainbow Rowell
"Squashed" by Joan Bauer

Have a visit with Patricia Toht, author of "Pick a Pumpkin"

Check out this interview with the author of "Pick a Pumpkin." Hear all about Patricia Toht's journey in writing, how she came up with Pick a Pumpkin and so much more!

Reading Guides

Here at Illinois Ag in the Classroom, we have an office full of books, and a staff who loves reading! We have taken a few of our favorite Ag-Accurate novels and created Reading Guides to follow along with the story. 


Squashed, by Joan Bauer, is the story of sixteen-year-old Ellie Morgan and her giant pumpkin Max. Ellie bravely goes head to head and pumpkin to pumpkin against the reigning pumpkin growing champ in the Rock River Pumpkin Weigh-In. The competition is brutal. This fun and entertaining read includes valuable life lessons about winners and losers and the power that comes from merely staying true to yourself.


Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell is the story of Deja and Josiah. These high school seniors have worked together at the local pumpkin patch every fall for years, and tonight is their last night on the job. This colorful and lively story is about friendship, food, and fall, but it’s also about speaking your truths and being willing to feel discomfort in difficult moments and come out on the other side with newfound knowledge and appreciation for those around you.

Our Young Pumpkins

Our pumpkin lessons stretch far and wide and range to all ages. For our Kindergarten through third grade classrooms here are the perfect materials for you! Our Pumpkin Junior Ag Mag is perfect for second and third graders, and our Pumpkin Facts for Little Readers are ideal for kindergarten and first graders. These are the perfect lessons with facts, information, and a short activity to go along.


Two other activities perfect for kindergarten through third grade are, "What's Inside My Pumpkin" and "Pumpkin Chain." Both of these activities help students with sequencing. "What's Inside My Pumpkin" tells a story while learning about the parts of a pumpkin. "Pumpkin Chain" helps students understand the life cycle of a pumpkin while building it out of paper.


Check out all of these resources below:

Exploding Pumpkin

At Illinois Ag in the Classroom, we are all about science experiments! We have this awesome activity for you to try with students called the "Exploding Pumpkin." While this might sound extreme, it is a simple experiment where you mix all the ingredients inside a carved pumpkin and watch a foam explosion. If you're still not sure, take a look at this video and watch it with your own eyes!


Check out the full lesson plan here:

Take a Field Trip

Take a field trip with Kaylee Heap, a Kendall County famer as she travels around Heap's Giant Pumpkin Farm in Minooka, Illinois. Learn more about their farm and Illinois pumpkins!

Illinois: The Great Pumpkin State

Did you know that Illinois is the number one producer of pumpkins in the world? In fact, more than 85% of pumpkin products we consume come from and are processed in Illinois.


Learn more about pumpkin farming and the differences between all pumpkins from Illinois Farm Families.


Agriculture in the Holidays

Tis the season to be thankful! Check out all of our lessons, videos, and other resources all related to the December holidays!

Apples, Apples, & More Apples

It's fall y'all and you know what that means... APPLES! Check out all these awesome IAITC Apple Resouces to plant a 'seed' of excitement about agriculture!