Jack-O'-Lantern Photo Frame Craft & Lesson Plan September 10 2009

jackolanternframephotoHalloween Jack-O'-Lantern Craft & Lesson Plan

Here's a lesson plan and Jack-o'-lantern craft with a free, printable template for the craft.

 Craft Materials:

  • Jack-O'-Lantern Frame Free, Printable Template
  • Construction Paper (orange & green)
  • Scissors (1 per student)
  • Glue (1 per student)
  • Pencil (1 per student)
  • Googly Eyes (2 per student)
  • Pipe Cleaners or Wikki Stix (green, 1 per student. Used as a twisted vine near the stem & leaf.)
  • Magnets (optional, 1 per student)

 Craft Instructions:


Print the template onto card stock, cut it out and use a marker to trace it onto construction paper (orange for pumpkin, green for stem & leaf.)

Students cut out the pieces & follow these instructions:

  1. Glue leaf & stem onto the Jack-o'-lantern.
  2. Twist the pipe cleaners around the pencil. Glue onto the back of the jack-o'-lantern near the stem.
  3. Glue on the nose.
  4. Glue on the googly eyes.
  5. Glue the magnet on the back.
  6. Glue picture of the child wearing his/her Halloween costume inside the frame.
  7. Send home now or save for the classroom memory book (which is sent home at the end of the year.)

Lesson Plan

(I suggest the following order: 1. Show Photos, 2. Share History & Poem, 3. Do the Craft, 4. Read Aloud the Story. Please adjust order as you find necessary.)

Show Photographs of Jack-O'-Lanterns

Do a search on the Internet and find several photographs of Jack-o'-lanterns. Print out a few to share.


Call the school librarian and ask her if there are any jack-o'-lantern books in the library and have a volunteer parent or student assistant bring the books to you. :)

Share & Discuss the History of the Tradition & a Poem

"North American Tradition
A traditional Irish Halloween Jack-o'-lantern from the early 20th century on display in the Museum of Country Life, Ireland.Throughout Ireland and Britain, there is a long tradition of carving lanterns from vegetables, particularly the turnip, mangelwurzel, or swede.[1] But not until 1837 does jack-o'-lantern appear as a term for a carved vegetable lantern,[2] and the carved lantern does not become associated specifically withHalloween until 1866.[3] Significantly, both occurred not in Ireland or Britain, but in North America. Historian David J. Skal writes,

Although every modern chronicle of the holiday repeats the claim that vegetable lanterns were a time-honored component of Halloween celebrations in the British Isles, none gives any primary documentation. In fact, none of the major nineteenth-century chronicles of British holidays and folk customs make any mention whatsoever of carved lanterns in connection with Halloween. Neither do any of the standard works of the early twentieth century.[4]

In America, the carved pumpkin was first associated with the harvest season in general, long before it became an emblem of Halloween.[5] The poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who was born in 1807, wrote in

"The Pumpkin" (1850):[6]

“ Oh!—fruit loved of boyhood!—the old days recalling,

When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!

When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,

Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!"

(9/10/09, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack-o'-lantern)

Read Aloud

Read aloud the classic book, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Bill Melendez and Christopher Shea. (It might even be in your classroom library, school library or public library.) You can also read aloud any other pumkin or jack-o'-lantern book you have in your classroom library.

Discuss the difference between a pumkin and a jack-o'-lantern before reading any of the books you choose from. When you see a pumpkin or jack-o'-lantern while reading ask, "Is this a pumkin or Jack-o'-lantern?"