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“Small things can have a lot going on inside them,” Charlie said to Mr. Tiffin. –How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
Mr. Tiffin's Classroom
by Margaret McNamara
AR Test, Picture Book
4 - 8
Charlie likes school and his teacher, Mr. Tiffin. But he doesn’t like how the class lines up by size, tallest to smallest. Charlie is always the smallest person in his class.
One day, Mr. Tiffin asks the class, “How many seeds in a pumpkin?” The class carefully pulls all of the seeds from their pumpkin. Each group must come up with the best way to count the seeds. One group counts in twos. Another group counts in fives. The last group counts in tens. Even though the experiment isn’t a contest, the students still get competitive.
As students work to discover how many seeds are in a pumpkin, readers will see how one problem can have many different solutions. Counting pumpkin seeds is correlated with Charlie’s dislike of being small. In the end, Charlie sees how being small is not a negative attribute. Charlie learns, “Pumpkin seeds are small but powerful.”
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin is a wonderful story to read during autumn. Each page has large illustrations that show a diverse group of children. Almost every page shows an illustration of a dinosaur as well as many dinosaur facts. Each page has 1 to 6 sentences. Even though How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin is a picture book, the story is intended to be read aloud to a child, rather than for the child to read it for the first time independently.
Each story in the Mr. Tiffin’s Classroom series focuses on one student and includes an important life lesson. How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin blends Charlie’s dislike of being small with pumpkin facts which keeps the story interesting. Readers looking for more pumpkin fun should add Marley and The Runaway Pumpkin by John Grogan to their reading list.
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