Summary: This lesson is based on the Japanese New Year's Game "Fukuwarai," where one person closes their eyes and another person directs them to place the parts of face on a blank face. The face always winds up looking funny and everyone laughs. This lesson recreates that game but with added Jack-o-Lantern flair. They color a blank pumpkin worksheet, then design their own Jack-o-Lantern face parts out of construction paper and play the game with a partner using up, down, right, left, and stop.
- Select some cool Jack-o-Lanterns with lots of variety to show students how amazing they can be. I included pumpkins with scary, cute, and dramatic faces as well as pop culture references like Creepers from Minecraft (the fave). PowerPoint or printed pictures both work here.
- Prepare pieces of construction paper for the students to cut out to make the Jack-o-Lantern eyes, mouth, and nose. About a B5 or half an A4 sheet. You can pick dark colors like blue or purple for a day-time Jack-o-Lantern look or yellow for a night-time look.
- Create your own blank pumpkin worksheet or use the attached worksheet.
- Make two large eyes, a nose, and a mouth out of construction paper and add magnets to the back. You'll use these to play the game on the board to introduce it. Make them big enough for the kids in the back to see.
- Greeting (5 minutes)
- Jack-o-Lantern PowerPoint or pictures. Use simple English to explain Jack-o-Lanterns and show the pictures. You can tell them a little about the history of Jack-o-Lanterns if you have really engaged kids. (5 minutes)
- Draw a big pumpkin on the board. Place the eyes, nose, and mouth you made underneath the pumpkin. Either have the OTE give you directions or give the OTE directions in English for how to place the face. Don't worry if the face comes out bad, the kids will love it. After playing once, review up, down, left, right, and stop with the class. Play with one or two students at the board. (10 minutes)
- Set them free to create. Let them color their pumpkins, as well as get their construction paper, design, and cut. I told them they had to make at least four pieces, to make the game more fun. Some kids will get ambitious so encourage them to watch the time and play before time runs out. Tell them they can play as soon as they're finished. You and the OTE should encourage any kids who are taking too long on one step. Once they've played a few times, they should glue the faces down for a finished Jack-o-Lantern. (30 minutes)
- If you have extra time, have the students cut out their pumpkins to decorate the classroom. Students can race to place them on the board.
- Collect large pieces of scrap construction paper to use with your next class.
This was probably the most universally successful lesson
I ever did with kids, but if your teachers aren't ready for a ton of paper scraps and students aren't prepared with glue, scissors, and colored pencils, this may not go smoothly. There will be a lot of leftover paper. Be proactive about collecting pieces for the next class, recycling, or trash so you don't leave the classroom messy.