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Big, Bigger or Biggest Pumpkin

October 16, 2008

In this lesson we have set up an informal game for you to be able to assess these three skills:

  • Your child’s ability to see the similarities and differences in objects
  • Your child’s ability to categorize the pumpkins and gourds into like groups
  • Your child will determine the smallest, largest, tallest, shortest and biggest pumpkins and gourds to learn the vocabulary and become more familiar with its meaning.

Prerequisite For This Lesson

As children become more observant of their surroundings they will start to distinguish how things are similar and different from one another. Your child needs an understanding of small and big to feel comfortable with this activity.

Big, Bigger or Biggest Pumpkin


  • pumpkin and gourd picture cards PDF or an assortment of real pumpkins and gourds
  1. Place the pumpkins or gourds (picture card or real ones) so your child can reach them easily.
  2. Similar:
    • Explain that similar is something that has at least one thing a like or in common.
    • Find something in common about the two of you to make the example something she can see and understand. You might have the same color hair or are wearing the same kind of pants.
    • Ask your child if there is anything similar between the pumpkins and gourds. Have her explain her reasoning to you. They may have similar but not necessarily the same: color, shape or size. They can all have a stem or not.
    • The possibilities that children find are amazing. If their explanations fit, praise them for their effort.
  3. Differences:
    • Explain to her that now you’re going to be looking at differences. Differences are things not the same, for example: the size of your feet or how tall you are. Some things are both similar and different, for instance both of you have a head, but they are a different size.
    • Now ask her, “What are some of the differences?”
    • She can come up with many possibilities or just a few. The importance is that she can distinguish things for both.
  4. You’ll want to revisit similar and different with other items in the future.
  5. Big, biggest, small, smallest:
    • Now take all of the pumpkins or gourds and ask your child, “Are all of the pumpkins or gourds big?”
    • If she agrees, ask, “Is there one that is the biggest?” If she needs help, have her look at them side by side, 2 at a time.
    • If she doesn’t agree, have her sort them. Put all the small ones together and all of the big ones together.
    • Now you can take it a step further. “Out of all of the big pumpkins, is one the biggest?” If she doesn’t understand the meaning explain that to be the biggest means bigger than the others.
    • Once she has determined which one is the biggest, ask, “Which one do you think is the smallest?”
  6. Do the same thing with the tall and tallest, large and largest and short and shortest.

Re-enforcement Activities

Reading the book “How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?” is an excellent way to reinforce the concept of small and tall in another way that your child will readily understand. This book is a great example of small and large, estimating, counting strategies and understanding a child’s perceptions.

Have your child draw a picture of something small and something that is the smallest, big and biggest; tall and tallest; short and shortest; large and largest. Your child could come up with a story for each of the drawings and dictate them to you.

Materials needed: paper PDF, markers or crayons

Also, use the terminology in your conversations with your child will help reinforce the concept for her.

Read the book “Big Pumpkin” for a fun story about teamwork and big pumpkins.


Watching your child as she does the activity will tell you whether she understands the concept or not.

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