Learning with Gourds: Comparing, Sorting, and Labeling for Fall | Still Playing School

Learning with Gourds: Comparing, Sorting, and Labeling for Fall

This Fall we've played and learned with acorns, leaves, and apples! For this Autumn activity, we investigated and compared gourds to sort, classify, and label the ways they are similar and different.

Every Wednesday we are joining the Playful Preschool Education Team organized by The Educators' Spin On It to bring you a collection of theme based #PlayfulPreschool posts for hands on learning you can provide for your preschoolers. This week's preschool theme is harvest and we have tied in sensory play, science, math, and writing in our discovery exploration! You can always search the #playfulpreschool hashtag to find all of our posts on social media.

We got up close with the gourds to discuss what we felt and saw. As our preschooler E used words to describe the attributes of the gourds I explained that we were using words called adjectives that name the characteristics of the decorative crop.

I asked E to pick one adjective. She chose and wrote bumpy in her kid writing inventive spelling, "bempe." Allowing children to write the sounds they hear without correcting their spelling validates their attempts while showing them that print has meaning.

She sorted all of the bumpy gourds then labeled the other group as "smov." She was isolating, identifying, and writing the sounds she heard in the words.

Next she chose to sort the gourds with "strips" and "no strips." She even experimented with writing a period! Once she had sorted the gourds we discussed additional math concepts such as the same, different, more, less, and equal. Just imagine all the possibilities if you present this invitation to a classroom full of preschoolers with multiple ability levels. The cooperative learning that occurs will be amazing! 

Finally E decided to sort by color. This was my favorite because she began with orange and green. She placed the gourds that contained both colors in the middle between the two sheets much like we've done when we use a Venn Diagram in preschool. She was left with several gourds in the basket so I waited to see what she would do.

She immediately grabbed another sheet of paper to add "wit" as a category of her classification. She is so proud of her work! We both loved this Autumn activity that incorporated math, science, and writing!

Plan your PRESCHOOL Harvest Theme Learning Week with Activities from the Playful Preschool Education Team:

Harvesting in the Carrot Patch by Powerful Mothering

Making Bread by Rainy Day Mum

#PlayfulPreschool Harvest Time Math by Tiny Tots Adventures

Alphabet Activities: Letter Harvest by Growing Book by Book

Go Global: Harvests Around the World by The Educators' Spin On It

Harvest Time: Jamaican Style Music by Learning 2 Walk

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  1. Those are awesome gourds. I like how she sorted them by different attributes! What a great hands-on math activity!

  2. We love to buy gourds every year because they are so festive and remind us of the Fall season. I can't wait to try this activity with our preschoolers.

  3. What a great math activity. I like how you left it up to her to figure out what to do with the rest in the basket.

  4. She is such a cutie! Also love this activity, hehe. Now I am pondering what local things I can use to recreate it because I haven't seen any of these about.. mmmm

  5. What a super fun learning activity and great pictures!

  6. I love how you let her explore letter sounds, writing her own words and sorting by her own descriptives. Yes, there are so many levels to what is a simple set-up. Many ages and levels can play and learn together!

  7. So many great activities for harvest learning with gourds! We have a mixed-age group of kids that would love this! Great post and LOVELY pictures!

  8. What a fabulous activity - I love the gourds are they ornamental and where did you get them from?