Ridgefield — First-grade students at South Ridge Elementary School learned about plant life by playing with pumpkins. In October, teacher Nathan Ingroum used the pumpkin life cycle to teach the children about plants. Facts about how plants develop from seeds into mature crops were interspersed with entertaining exercises such as reading stories about pumpkins and painting jack-o'-lanterns. The goal was to have kids internalize the science lessons while still having fun, Ingroum said. Students also grew their own plants from stem cuttings of ivy and begonias. Ingroum adapted the plant life cycle lessons from online education resources, where instructors share curriculum ideas.