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Pumpkin Literacy Activities and Lessons


Poems & Songs

Once I Had A Pumpkin
(from Dr. Jean’s website)

Oh, once I had a pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin.
Oh, once I had a pumpkin with no face at all.
With no eyes and no nose and no mouth and no teeth.
Oh, once I had a pumpkin with no face at all.

So I made a jack-o-lantern, jack-o-lantern, jack-o-lantern.
So I made a jack-o-lantern with a big, funny face.
With big eyes and a big nose and big mouth and big teeth.
So I made a jack-o-lantern with a big, funny face.

Jack O. Happy Fingerplay
(Children make a circle around their heads before beginning.)

This is Jack O. Happy. (smile)
This is Jack O. Sad.  (frown)
This is Jack O. Spooky. (open mouth and look frightened.)
This is Jack O. Mad. (make angry face)
This is Jack in pieces small.  (open up hands)
But in a pie he’s best of all.   (pat tummy)

Jack O Happy

This is Jack O Happy.
This is Jack O Sad.
Now you see him sleepy.
Now you see him mad.
This is Jack in pieces small.
But in a pie he’s best of all.

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her.
Put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.

Ten Little Pumpkins
(tune of Ten Little Indians)

One little, two little, three little pumpkins.
Four little, five little, six little pumpkins.
Seven little, eight little, nine little pumpkins.
Ten little pumpkins growing in a patch.

Ten little, nine little, eight little pumpkins.
Seven little, six little, five little pumpkins,
Four little, three little, two little pumpkins.
One little pumpkin growing in a patch.

The Pumpkins Are Here
(tune of The Farmer in the Dell)

The pumpkins are here; the pumpkins are there.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins, are everywhere.

The pumpkins are up; the pumpkins are down.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins, are all around.

The pumpkins are in; the pumpkins are out.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all about.

The pumpkins are low; the pumpkins are high.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins, all say, “Good-bye!”

Halloween Pumpkins

Pumpkins large, pumpkins small,
Pumpkins short, pumpkins tall,
Pumpkins orange, pumpkins green,
All for us on Halloween.

Mr. Pumpkin

(Before beginning this finger rhyme, draw a jack-o-lantern on each child’s right thumb
or put a jack-o-lantern sticker on.)

Old Mr. Pumpkin (fist with right hand, thumb inside)
Hiding in a box, (left hand covers fist)
Take off the top, (remove left hand)
And out he pops! (thumb pops out)

Here’s A Pumpkin 
By Natalie Hill

(flannel board rhyme sung to the tune of “Where Is Thumbkin?” For the flannel board you will need an orange circle, a green stem, two black circles for eyes, a black triangle for the nose, and a smile with two teeth cut out of the smile. Add the parts as you sing each verse.)

Here’s a pumpkin, here’s a pumpkin,
Orange and round, orange and round.
Started as a seed, sprouted and then blossomed.
Grew and grew, on the ground.

Here’s the top hat, here’s the top hat,
Right on top, right on top.
First you carve around it, to take all the seeds out,
Off it pops, off it pops.

Here are two eyes, here are two eyes,
Round as can be, round as can be.
First you carve the right one, then you carve the left one,
Looking at you, looking at me.

Here’s a big nose, here’s a big nose,
With three sides, with three sides.
Two points at the bottom, one point at the top,
Cannot hide, cannot hide.

Here’s the big grin, here’s the big grin,
Glad as can be, glad as can be.
Look what’s in the middle, two squares that are little,
Must be teeth, must be teeth.

Where’s the pumpkin, where’s the pumpkin?
We’ve just seen, we’ve just seen,
How you carve a pumpkin, to make a jack-o-lantern,
For Halloween, for Halloween.


Jack-o-lantern, big and scary
Some are sad, some are merry.
Some are large, some are small.
Some just have no teeth at all!

Student Books

Pumpkin Mini-Books & More

    • Pumpkin Life Cycle Sequencing
    • Pumpkin Mini-Books: I Can Count Pumpkins, Look At the Pumpkin, I See A Pumpkin, This Pumpkin, My Pumpkin
    • Pumpkin Math Activities

Pumpkin Sequencing Cards

Orange Pumpkin, Orange Pumpkin, What Do You See?
Teacher’s Helper, Kindergarten, Sept/Oct 1995

Maureen Tumenas has generously agreed to share this book she wrote. It is based on Brown Bear.

“The Story of A Pumpkin Seed”
October, Preschool-Kindergarten, The Education Center (TEC203)

“Where Is Pumpkin?”
I Can Make It! I Can Read It!, Preschool-Kindergarten, The Education Center (TE3512)


Children move the pumpkin to illustrate positional vocabulary (above the cat, behind the fence, etc.)

Here is a similar printable book you may like:

Where Is Pumpkin? Position Word Interactive Make & Read Book by KindergartenWorks

More Literacy

Tactile Names

Have students write their names on a construction paper pumpkin cutout in large letters. Then have them glue pumpkin seeds on the letters of their name.


This is a sight word game. Write words or letters that need reinforced on the back of jack-o-lanterns. On the back of other jack-o-lanterns, write “Boo!” Lay cards face down in the middle of a circle of 4-8 children. One student at a time draws a card. If he can read it, he keeps drawing until he gets a Boo card. Then his turn is over. Play continues until all the cards are gone.

Predictable Charts

Make a predictable chart by having each child look at and touch a pumpkin and then use descriptive words to complete, “A pumpkin is ____________________.”

Witch’s Pot Game

We played the “Witch’s Pot” game by throwing jack-o-lantern beanbags into the pot if we could read a flashcard.

Other Resources

Teacher’s Helper, Kindergarten, Sept/Oct 1995
“Pumpkin, Pumpkin” story recall worksheet

Growing Pumpkins following directions worksheet
“________’s pumpkin is……” story starter

October Reproducible Activities, Kindergarten, The Education Center (TEC959)
Critical thinking elimination activity

Pumpkin patch gameboard for reinforcement


Pumpkin, Pumpkin
by Jeanne Titherington

It’s Pumpkin Time
by Zoe Hall

Apples and Pumpkins
by Anne Rockwell

Big Pumpkin
by Erica Silverman

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever
by Steven Kroll

Grandma’s Smile
by Elaine Moore

The Great Pumpkin Switch
by Megan McDonald

Five Little Pumpkins
by Iris Van Rynbach

Jeb’s Scarecrow Pumpkin Patch
by Jana Dillon

The Pumpkin Patch
by Elizabeth King

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
by Linda Williams

The Pumpkin Fair
by Eve Bunting

The Pumpkin Book
by Gail Gibbons

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden
by George Levenson

The Vanishing Pumpkin
by Tony Johnson

Mousekin’s Golden House
by Edna Miller

The Big, Big Pumpkin
by Joan Lexau

Growing Pumpkins
by Melvin Berger

Grow a Pumpkin Pie
by Jane E. Gerver

Picking Apples and Pumpkins
by Amy Hutchins

Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night
by Anne Rockwell

The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin
by Jan and Stan Berenstain

3 comments on “Pumpkin Literacy Activities and Lessons

  1. Wonderful website! Thank you so much for all the ideas, never enough time!!

  2. Debra Moultrie on said:

    Great ideas. Thanks
    Would love to have the template to the one with the postion one(the pumpkin is above the cat)

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