Dry out a pumpkin: Use a whole, uncut pumpkin, a dishpan, and a baster. Place the pumpkin in the dishpan in the window area where it will get lots of sunlight. If you don't have a window put it outside in a sunny but covered place (we don't want the pumpkin to get wet). On a calendar, mark the day when the pumpkin's appearance started to change; mark the day it collapsed (when the pumpkin collapses it will smell, so if you have been keeping it inside, take it outside to a covered, sunny place). Use a baster to draw off out as much of the watery liquid as possible. In a week or two the smell goes away; you can bring it back inside the classroom to finish drying.
[Note: Avoid jiggling the pumpkin while it is moist and losing moisture into the dishpan. It will lose its shape. Drying out a pumpkin takes 6 to 7 months.] Record the process using a time line, a calendar, journals, photographs, or illustrations (or any combination of these). When the pumpkin is completely dry, sort out the seeds to use in the activity below.