Read and Discuss: The Runaway Pumpkin

A giant pumpkin hurtles down the hill on Halloween. 


  • The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis

Science Concepts

  • Both rolling and sliding objects move faster down steeper inclines.
  • When a stationary object is hit by a rolling or sliding object, the force may knock the object over or cause it to move depending on how fast the moving object is going and how heavy it is.


Before you read: Show children the cover, and read the title and author’s name. Ask, What do you think is happening on the cover? Can you describe the expressions on the faces of the animals and the boy? Why do you think they might look frightened?  

As you read: Pause after reading the page where Little Lil tries to warn her brothers about rolling the pumpkin down the hill. Ask, Why do you think Little Lil is worried? What do you think is going to happen next?

After you read: Ask, Did you notice whether the pumpkin hit any obstacles on its way down the hill? What kind of obstacles, and what happened when it did? Does this story remind you of some of the obstacle course activities we tried last week?  How was the story similar to the activities? How was it different? Why do you think none of the obstacles could stop the pumpkin? How was the giant pumpkin finally stopped?