Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Jack O' Lantern, Jack O' Lantern

Judith Rose


Halloween is an exciting time for young children. Capitalize on their excitement while reinforcing color identification, holiday symbols, and language arts skills with this lesson built on the much-loved book [Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?] by Bill Martin, Jr.!


The student increases comprehension by rereading, retelling, and discussion.

The student uses repetition, rhyme, and rhythm in a variety of activities (for example, chants, songs, or story innovations).

The student uses repetition, rhyme, and rhythm in oral and written texts (for example, uses rhyming words orally; distinguishes between rhyming and nonrhyming words).


--[Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?], Martin, Bill, Jr., H. Holt: New York, 1992, ISBN 0-8050-1744-5.
--One copy of "Jack O' Lantern, Jack O' Lantern, What Do You See?" (See Associated File)
--Felt in basic colors (red, yellow, blue, brown, orange, green, purple, white)
--Drawing paper, pre-folded into eight sections, one per student
--Stapler/staples or binding combs (for teacher use only)
--Scissors or paper cutter (for teacher use only)
--Flannel board
--Duplicated templates and storybook covers (see Associated File)


1. Be sure to check (in advance) if any students have religious objections to celebrating holidays. If so, arrange for an alternate activity for them.
2. Pre-fold drawing paper to create eight sections per page. Make enough for each student in the class.
3. Pre-print and copy covers for books. (See Associated Files.) (A sturdier cover can be made from heavier paper, such as 24 lb. copy paper, available in different colors at office supply stores.) Duplicate one copy of the poem in the Associated File for teacher use.
4. Make flannel board figures for the story out of felt. (See Associated Files for templates.)
5. Have available [Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?] by Bill Martin, Jr.
6. Have available space on chalkboard or white board to write the name of each object in the story, draw a small figure of it, and write the title of the book. If space is not available, have the names of the objects written on paper and applied to flannel to be placed on flannel board. (see Procedure #8.)
7. On the board, pre-draw a large rectangle to represent the sectioned drawing paper. Draw dotted lines to represent the folds. If space is not available, make a sectioned drawing paper on which to draw when modeling drawing figures for the storybook.


1. Have students quietly come to the reading area.

2. Explain that you would like to share one of your favorite books with them. Tell them the title and author of the book. ([Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?] by Bill Martin, Jr.).

3. Read the book aloud to the class.

4. Review with students the different colors of the animals seen. Point out (or have children identify) rhyming and repeating words (see, me) that are repeated throughout the story.

5. Explain that now you are going to show them another story using Halloween objects. Tell them to look for rhyming words and repeating words.

6. Using the flannel board, present the poem, "Jack O’ Lantern, Jack O’Lantern, What Do You See?" (See Associated File.) Children may identify objects as they are put on the flannel board. Eg. (White _____, white _______ what do you see? –filling in the blanks as objects are put on the board.)

7. Invite children to retell the story, telling you which items to put on the board (correct sequence as needed).

8. After one or two retellings of the story, invite individual students to come up to the front to retell the story, using the flannel board. (Optional, if time allows.)

9. Explain that now you are going to write the words that name the objects from the story on the board. (Elicit sequence and names of objects from children.) Draw simple figures or put flannel figures on the board next to the names.

10. Tell the story again, chorally, pointing to the words and drawings (figures) of each item as it is related in the story.

11. Explain to the class that now they will return to their seats to draw the items in the story.

12. Distribute sectioned drawing paper. Direct them to draw one item and write its name on each section of the paper, because you are going to help them make their own Jack O’ Lantern storybooks to take home to read. Model drawing and writing on board.

13. Observe drawing and writing, making positive comments and suggestions to individual students.

14. When students finish their drawings, distribute paper for the book covers. Instruct them to write their names on the line on the cover.

15. They may then draw a Jack O’ Lantern on the cover of the book. (If you opted not to pre-print the title of the story on the cover paper, students should be instructed to copy the story title from the board onto the cover.)

16. Explain to students should turn in their papers when finished, so that you can put them together later for their take-home storybooks.

17. Later, cut papers apart and staple or bind them into individual books. Distribute books to take home and practice reading to their families.


Each student’s retelling of the poem, "Jack O’ Lantern, Jack O’ Lantern," (in the associated file) through flannel board activity and student-created picture books will be formatively assessed by teacher observation. Each student's retelling of the story will be formatively assessed by teacher observation for effectiveness of communication to other students.

Criteria: The student will retell the story using flannel board figures. Students will then draw the story objects and write their names, e.g. "white ghost", to be assembled into individual books to be taken home for additional reading practice.


1. For ESOL or foreign language students, vocabulary could be reinforced using the same story format (eg. Yellow hat, yellow hat, what do you see? I see blue jeans looking at me.)
2. Bill Martin, Jr.’s book [Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You See?] can be read and enjoyed by the class.
3. Stick or large ruler puppets based on any of the stories (Brown Bear, Brown Bear; Jack O’ Lantern, Jack O’ Lantern, or Polar Bear, Polar Bear) can be made for use in a puppet show. After practice, the show can be filmed for presentation at a Family Reading Night.
4. Students can share their Jack O’ Lantern books with Book Buddies from another class.
5. Students can make similar books for other holidays (eg. Brown Turkey, Brown Turkey…).
6. A class book, using the same format, can be made when studying other subjects. (For example, during a unit on the Ocean, different ocean animals could be drawn, one per page, per student. Other attributes could be reinforced, or synonyms for older students. (Eg. Enormous shark, enormous shark, what do you see? I see a tiny minnow looking at me.)
7. More advanced students can write the actual sentences under their pictures.

Attached Files

Jack O' Lantern flannel board templates     File Extension: pdf

Storybook cover page     File Extension: pdf

Jack O' Lantern rhyme     File Extension: pdf

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