OTHER FUN PUMPKIN RUNNER ACTIVITIES:
For the Fun of It: Joshua Summerhayes entered the Koala-K Race because he liked to run. He didn’t care about winning the prize or becoming famous.
Discussion Question: What do you do, just for the fun of it?
Exercise, food, attitude and health:
Discussion Questions: Why do you think Joshua Summerhayes could run so far at his age? Was it the nutritious pumpkins? Was it because he had been running, exercising, and using his body since he was young? Was it because he loved his life and loved to run? Or was it all three?
- People laughed at Joshua Summerhayes because of the way he dressed. Has anyone ever laughed at you because of how you looked or dressed or where you lived?
- People also laughed because they thought Joshua was too old to run an ultra-marathon. Discuss or do a study about people who did something for the first time (the first girl to play on a softball team, the first man to become a flight attendant).
Study of Australia
The Pumpkin Runner can be a jumping off point to a study of Australia. Find Australia on a map.
- What are the climate, geography, cities, and culture like?
- Who are the aborigines?
- What is their history and what is their life like today?
- What would it have been like to be part of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney?
Ultra – marathon races
- What is a marathon? What is an ultra-marathon?
- How do runners prepare for these races?
- Do you know anyone who has run a marathon?
- Does running a marathon sound like fun to you?
Using The Pumpkin Runner to show Alliteration
Challenge your students to find alliterative names in The Pumpkin Runner:
Joshua Summerhayes, in The Pumpkin Runner, knew his pumpkins. Do you?
- Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds.
- Pumpkins originated in Australia.
- Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snakebites.
- In colonial days, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pie, rather than the filling.
- Pumpkins are 50% water.
- Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them, and used them to make mats.
How many did you get right? Look at the answers to check!
Answers to Pumpkins: Fact or Fiction
- Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds. (Fact)
- Pumpkins originated in Australia. (Fiction. They originated in Central America.)
- Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snakebites. (Fact)
- In colonial days, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pie, rather than the filling. (Fact)
- Pumpkins are 50% water. (Fiction. They are 90% water.)
- Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them, and used them to make mats. (Fact)