Pumpkin is a Fruit? | AbleNet, Inc.

In the Fall, we use pumpkins for decorations, but what else can we do with pumpkins? In this Remarkable Idea, students learn that a pumpkin is more than just a decoration, it’s a fruit!

This activity addresses:

  • Plant science
  • Social skills
  • Choice making
  • Cause and effect
  • Alternative methods of access

What you need:


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Orange food coloring


1. Record fruit facts to a Step-by-Step.
2. Record each definition to the TalkingBrix.
3. Find pictures or play food of fruits and vegetables (common ones and others discussed in this activity)
4. Attach the fruit and vegetable pictures or manipulatives to the All-Turn-It Spinner.
5. Preheat oven to 350°.
6. Create overlays using the AbleNet Symbol Overlay Maker app.

What to do:

1. Begin by designating a “Word Whiz” to define the vocabulary words.
2. Introduce the vocabulary words for this activity “fruit” and “vegetable”.
3. Allow students to take turns activating the Step-by-Step to share the “Fruit Facts” with their classmates.
4. Tell the class that today you are going to make cookies with a fruit: pumpkin.
5. Make the cookies, allow students to assist with mixing using the PowerLink 4 and Jelly Bean switch connected to the electric mixer.
6. Grease the baking sheet.
7. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
8. Beat sugar and butter in mixer bowl until well blended.
9. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Slowly beat in flour mixture.
10. Place onto a cookie sheet.
11. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges begin to firm.
12. Allow to cool before drizzling glaze over the top.
13. To make glaze combine powdered sugar, milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, orange food coloring.
14. Split the class into teams and allow each team turns to activate the All-Turn-It Spinner. When it lands on a fruit or vegetable that team must answer the question, “Is it a fruit or a vegetable?” If they have trouble you can give them a hint. Example hints: “This part of the plant has seeds.” “This is the leafy part of the plant.”
15. If keeping score award 2 points for a correct answer, 1 point for a correct answer after a hint has been given.
16. Take the cookies out of the oven to cool. Once cooled place a sheet of wax paper on a table with a cookie at the center. Put some glaze on a large spoon and allow students to drizzle it over the cookies.


“A fruit is the part of the plant that contains the seeds.”
“A vegetable is the parts of the plant that do not contain the seeds such as the stem, leaves, roots, and flower buds.”
“Common fruits are apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes.”
“Did you know that avocados, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins are also fruits.”
“Common vegetables are lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and beets.”