How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Mr. Tiffin's Classroom)

by Margaret McNamara (Author) G Brian Karas (Illustrator)

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? (Mr. Tiffin's Classroom)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Mr. Tiffin and his students explore skip counting and estimation in a fun pumpkin-themed classroom experiment! This book makes a wonderful read-aloud companion to any math or science curriculum, and it's a fun way to reinforce counting skills at home.

"How many seeds are in a pumpkin?" Mr. Tiffin asks his class as they gather around the big, medium, and small pumpkins on his desk. Robert, the biggest kid, guesses that the largest one has a million seeds; Elinor, sounding like she knows what she's talking about, guesses the medium one has 500 seeds; and Anna, who likes even numbers better than odd ones, guesses that the little one has 22. Charlie, the smallest boy in the class, doesn't have a guess.

Counting pumpkin seeds is messy business, but once the slimy job is done, to everyone's surprise, the smallest pumpkin has the most seeds! As Charlie happily exclaims, "Small things have a lot going on inside of them."

And don't miss the newest addition to the Mr. Tiffin series, The Dinosaur Expert!

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School Library Journal

K-Gr 2Charlie, the smallest kid in class, hates lining up by size. One day, his teacher brings three pumpkins to schoolsmall, medium, and largeand asks the children to guess which one contains the most seeds. After a round of guessing, they open them up and dig in to find out. This messy job yields a surprising answer that leaves Charlie saying, "Small things can have a lot going on inside them." Karas's characteristic watercolor illustrations done in a fall palette depict a diverse, modern classroom full of warm and humorous details. Spreads of the seeds sorted by twos, fives, and tens encourage readers to count along with the students. Intriguing facts about pumpkins, including how to tell which yield the most seeds, conclude the book. This enjoyable story, sprinkled with math and science lessons, should be a first-purchase consideration."Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA" Copyright 2007 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Review, San Francisco Chronicle (circ: 329,989), September 30, 2007:
"There's quite a lot to learn about pumpkins in this book, which even a math-phobe can love, plus there's kids working together and having their minds opened once their assumptions are trounced. Karas' stylized illustrations capture the fun of an engaging, hands-on classroom project."
—Regan McMahon
Margaret McNamara
Margaret McNamara is the author of the Robin Hill School series, and she gets many ideas from her daughter's own school experiences. She lives in New York City.

Mike Gordon illustrates the Robin Hill School series and has an extensive and varied background in illustration and design. He lives with his family in Santa Barbara, California.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication date
July 10, 2007
Mr. Tiffin's Classroom
BISAC categories
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
JUV009030 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | Counting & Numbers
Library of Congress categories
Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award
Nominee 2009 - 2010

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