Will the Pumpkin Sink or Float?

Will the Pumpkin Sink or Float?

by Judie Haynes

Teach a lesson on sinking and floating in the fall and use pumpkins to tie it to Halloween. This lesson also provides your English language learners with practice in estimating and in predicting outcomes.

Teach a lesson on sinking and floating in the fall and tie the activity to Halloween by using pumpkins for the experiments. This lesson follows TESOL Pre-K-12 ESL Standards: Standard 2, Goal 2.

Lesson topic

Will a pumpkin sink or float?

Proficiency/Grade level

Advanced beginning to intermediate ESL students grades 1-4

Content Concepts and Skills

Floating and sinking; predicting results


Sink, float, solid, hollow

Materials or Resources

A variety of small pumpkins of different shapes; a bucket of water; assorted fruits and vegetables.

Instructional Sequence

Descriptors and Progress Indicators

During this unit students worked on the following skills:

Activity Downloads

Note: To view the classroom activities, you must have Acrobat Reader intalled. Acrobat is a free application available from Adobe Systems.

PDF filePumpkin Activity Sheet (29k .PDF)

PDF filePlant-Seed Cycle (25k .PDF)

PDF filePumpkin Worksheet (29k .PDF)

PDF filePumpkin Vocabulary (89k .PDF)

PDF filePumpkin Records (71k .PDF)

Related Links

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Need ideas to enhance your content-based ESL instruction? Make your thematic units come alive and put pizzaz in your lessons by incorporating internet sites into your plans. If you teach small groups, you only need one computer to pique your students’ interest.