Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Does a Pumpkin Grow and Glow?

Alicia Floyd
Santa Rosa District Schools


After listening to an informational article that explains the steps needed to grow pumpkins, the group participates in carving a pumpkin, and then writes the sequence of events needed to produce a carved jack-o-lantern.


The student writes simple informational texts (for example, three-step instructions in sequence, expository pieces).


-King, Elizabeth. [The Pumpkin Patch]. New York: Dutton Children’s Book, 1990.
-One large pumpkin for carving
-Utensils for carving
-Paper and pencils for each student


1. Get a copy of [The Pumpkin Patch].
2. Find a large pumpkin suitable for carving.
3. Get utensils for carving.


1. Discuss things that are seen during the fall of each year.

2. Write the word pumpkin on the board. Have students tell things they know about pumpkins. Make a word web with all their answers.

3. Explain to students you are going to read aloud an informational book that tells the steps in growing a pumpkin.

4. Read aloud [The Pumpkin Patch].

5. Elicit responses from students. Review the steps for growing pumpkins.

6. Tell students that one of the most fun uses of a pumpkin is to carve a face and place a candle inside to see it glow.

7. Discuss that steps have to be followed to get a good result from carving pumpkins.

8. Show students a large pumpkin. Explain that the teacher will carve the pumpkin while students jot down notes to remember the steps. (This can be called the Sloppy Copy.)

9. Carve the pumpkin.

10. Have students review the steps, and then allow them time to write their sequential steps using the notes that they took.


Use the following criteria for assessment:

E - The student writes at least three-step instructions in sequence with the correct information.

S - The student writes at least two-step instructions in sequence with the correct information.

N - The student is not able to write instructions in sequence with the correct information.


The inside of the pumpkin that was carved out can be used to make pumpkin bread for all the students to taste. Any recipe that uses fresh pumpkin may be used.
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