Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkins

Guess who is sponsoring the Chestnut Hill Academy Pumpkin Carving Contest this week? Me! Professor Watermelon!

I love carving pumpkins, but even more, I love writing stories about them. Looks like we’ve found another MUSE!

Pumpkins originated in Central America, but now they grow all over the world. The United States alone grows over 1.5 BILLION pounds of pumpkins a year – WOW! There are about 30 different kinds of pumpkins, but the best carving kind is the Connecticut Field Pumpkin.

The world’s largest pumpkin was grown in Rhode Island this year – 2009 pounds! Take a look at this article and video to see this gigantic gourd!

Pumpkin is also a healthy food. They are very low in fat and have lots of potassium like bananas! My favorite pumpkin recipe is PUMPKIN PIE! Sadly, this dish is not as healthy, but one little slice won’t hurt you (wink). Here is a great video on how to make Pumpkin Pie. It is fun to watch, but if you want to make a pie of your own, make sure to have an adult around for help.

Another healthy way to eat pumpkin is to eat the PUMPKIN SEEDS! So when you are carving your Jack O’ lantern this Halloween, don’t throw the seeds away. Wash them off, sprinkle them with salt, and ask an adult to roast them in the oven for a few minutes. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, and there are about 500 seeds in an average pumpkin. YUM!

Now before we talk more about Jack O’ Lanterns, did you know that there is a World Champion Punkin Chunkin Competition in Delaware every year? (Say that 10 times really fast.) Competitors from all over the country meet in a gigantic field and launch pumpkins from several different kinds of contraptions. Take a look at this series of videos to experience the fun.

Jack O’ Lanterns are a Halloween favorite. Legend has it that this tradition came to the United States with Scottish and Irish immigrants. The belief is that Jack O’ Lanterns will keep the spooks away. That is why you will see Jack O’ Lanterns guarding front porches and doorsteps across America on Halloween night.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, pumpkin carving is TONS of fun. Take a look at this video to see how to carve a traditional Jack O’ Lantern. If you want to stretch your imagination, take a look at what Martha Stewart has done with her pumpkins!

I can’t finish this post without sharing some of my favorite PUMPKIN stories. My favorite is “The Runaway Pumpkin” by Kevin Lewis and illustrated by S.D. Schindler. Here is the Amazon link. And no Halloween season is complete without watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” Here is the full video of this classic.

With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF your main character went to the Punkin Chunkin Competition and was able to launch a pumpkin to the MOON?

WHAT IF your main character carved a Jack O’ Lantern, and it spoke to him/her?

WHAT IF your main character planted the pumpkin seeds from his/her Jack O’ Lantern and they grew into witch’s brooms instead of pumpkin plants?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own “WHAT IF” questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,
Professor Watermelon

The word of the day is “CONTRAPTION”. Here is the definition: a mechanical object, gadget or device.

Photo Credits: Jeremy Seits, Chris Connelly, and Joe Shlabotnic

14 comments:

  1. The person that's going to tell you that I posted here under this name, silly!October 15, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    WHAT IF: You had told me that there was a giant pumpkin about to squash me?

    A: I would say that you have gone completely bonkers.



    WHAT IF: One day, all pumpkins in the world turned purple?

    A: This can only mean one thing... purple pumpkin pie...



    WHAT IF: All the pumpkins in the world were turned into pumpkin pie and there were no more pumpkin plants or seeds left in the world because I may have had a little accident with a robotic toaster.





    WHAT IF: You turned into a pumpkin pie?






    WHAT IF: All pumpkins just happened to turn into dolphins?

    A: Are there dolphin riding classes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, aren't you just... silly! I do love love love your imagination, especially the purple pumpkins!!!

      Delete
  2. What if a jack-o-lantern was alive?
    What if a pumpkin liked to eat mice?
    What if a pumpkin played Xbox?
    What if a pumpkin took over Seattle?
    What if a pumpkin took over mars?
    What if a pumpkin ate people?
    What if there was a city called Pumpkinville?
    What if a pumpkin played Soccer?
    What if a pumpkin played Basketball?
    What if a pumpkin played football?
    What if a pumpkin played Baseball?
    What if a pumpkin ate the whole planet?
    What if the Sun was a glowing pumpkin?
    What if pumpkin was a spaceship?
    What if a pumpkin danced?
    What if a pumpkin played music?
    What if a pumpkin cooked dinner?
    What if there was a pumpkin family?
    What if there was a pumpkin school?
    What if there was a pumpkin in the wizard of Oz?
    What if a pumpkin ate hamburgers?
    What if a pumpkin ate hot dogs?
    What if a pumpkin ate pizza?
    What if a pumpkin was a robot?
    What if a pumpkin ate everything?
    What if a pumpkin could fly?
    What if a pumpkin could swim?

    By Ethan B

    ReplyDelete
  3. What if a pumpkin learned to fly?
    What if a pumpkin died and turned into zombie pumpkin pie?
    What if a pumpkin came alive and wanted to turn the world into pie?

    Nic S

    ReplyDelete
  4. the flying pumpkin one day a pumpkin flew out of town and landed in Canada.it could not come back to flying. it could only turn itself into a jack-o-lantern. the pumpkin wanted to return home.the pumpkin found itself in a pumpkin patch.it was picked up by a Professor Watermelon. the pumpkin knew it was going to have a good life.
    the end Joyce

    ReplyDelete
  5. what if a pumkin blew up.
    what if a pumkin played a ipad.
    what if a pumkin wanted to be a artist.
    what if a pumkin had a girlfriend.
    what if a pumkin had a baby.
    what if it rained pumkins.
    what if a pumkin was ascarecrow.
    what if a pumkin celebrated easter.

    ReplyDelete
  6. - What if you played all ball sports with a pumpkin – tennis, golf, basketball, baseball, cricket
    - What if a pumpkin was multi-colored
    - What if a pumpkin was cube shaped
    - What if a pumpkin was cone shaped
    - What if a pumpkin was a cylinder
    - What if a pumpkin had a family
    - What if a pumpkin was as small as a grape
    - What if a pumpkin was really, really huge
    - What if Mars turned out to be a really large pumpkin
    - What if a pumpkin tasted like chicken or fish
    - What if a pumpkin tasted like vegetables – broccoli
    - What if the human head was a pumpkin
    - What if a pumpkin had little legs and could run
    - What if a pumpkin had wings and could fly
    - What if there was a pumpkin city with a pumpkin mayor, pumpkin police, pumpkin people, pumpkin kids
    - What is a pumpkin was too hard to carve – what would we do at Halloween

    - Amar

    ReplyDelete
  7. PUMPKIN RIDDLES

    What did one Jack-o-lantern say to the other?
    Cut it out!

    What is a pumpkin's favorite sport?
    Squash

    Why do Jack-o-lanterns have stupid smiles on their faces?
    You'd have a stupid smile, too, if you had just had all your brains scooped out!

    How do you repair a broken Jack-o-lantern?
    Buy a pumpkin patch!

    What's black, white, orange, and waddles?
    A penguin carrying a Jack-o-lantern.

    - Amar

    ReplyDelete
  8. More What-Ifs

    -what if we had pumpkin eyes
    -what if pumpkins ate other pumpkins
    -what if pumpkins had brains
    -what if pumpkins could draw
    -what if pumpkins were used as car wheels
    -what if pumpkins could play
    -what if pumpkins could write
    -what if pumpkins could do spelling
    -What if pumpkins could do math
    -what if pumpkins were like humans
    -what if pumpkins never died
    -what if pumpkins colud sing songs
    -what if pumpkins could taik
    -what if pumpkin was a detective?
    -what if a pumpkin ran for president and won?
    -what is a pumpkin could climb?

    - Amar

    ReplyDelete
  9. What if a jack o lantern carved its self?
    What if a jack o lantern was a ball?
    What if a jack o lantern started bouncing?
    What if a jack o lantern started dancing?
    What if a jack o lantern hade a real phone?


    by Celeste

    ReplyDelete
  10. On October 30th, the day before Halloween, all the Jack-O-Lanterns in the Rivertrail community got together. They weren’t too happy. The Kids have a great time at Halloween and get all the candy, while we just sit around in front of houses, said Jake – the scariest looking Jack-O-Lantern. We need to do something about this – anyone have ideas? KK, the wise owl, was the smartest of the Jack-o-Lanterns. He came up with a plan – how about we wish really hard and come to life for an hour. We can get-together and go trick or treating together. We’ll have all the happy looking Jack-o-lanterns in front. If the people are mean and say’ go away, we don’t have any candy for you’, we can push the scary Jack-o-lanterns in front. They followed the plan the next day. Folks were surprised to see the Jack-o-lanterns missing from 6 – 7pm but when they came back in front of the house, they all looked very happy!

    - Amar

    ReplyDelete
  11. What if a pumpkin's dream was to go to the moon?
    What if a pumpkin dressed up as an fish for Halloween?
    What if the MLS used a pumpkin for a soccer ball?
    What if it was the only pumpkin the patch?
    What if a mouse used a pumpkin for a house?
    What if the pumpkin owned a private jet?
    What if it started raining pumpkins?
    What if a pumpkin's favorite subject was math?
    What if a pumpkin's favorite drink was pepsi?
    What if a pumpkin's favorite dessert was pumpkin pie?
    What if a pumpkin was born in a cabbage patch?
    What if a pumpkin could carve itself?
    What if a pumpkin rolled all the way across the U.S.?
    What if the pumpkin's favorite holiday was Christmas?
    What if the pumpkin had a pet dog?
    What if the pumpkin liked to play tag?
    What if the pumpkin never stopped growing?
    What if a pumpkin ran for president of the US?
    What if the pumpkin never got carved?
    What if the pumpkin pierced it's stem?
    What if the pumpkin got a tattoo?

    -Joshua L.

    ReplyDelete
  12. what if a pumkin picked its nose.
    what if a pumkin carved its own face.
    what if a pumkin spit seeds out of its mouth.
    what if a pumkin won a contest.
    what if a pumkin had 10000000 melon dolers.
    what if a pumkin went swimming.
    what if a pumkin had a pet spider.
    what if a pumkin had a can opener.
    what if a pumkin went trick or treating.
    what if a pumkin had corn iside.
    what if a pumkin tasted like pie.
    what if a pumkin was square.
    what if a pumkin was purple.
    what if a pumkin had no stem.
    what if a pumkin had a herseys.
    what if a pumkin read a book.

    ReplyDelete