As with Autumn Leaves, the first thing you notice in this book are the amazing photographs. Bright, colorful, cheerful! I really like the fact that real photographs are used in these books. Jack-O-Lantern is not a wordless picture book. Instead, Tara, in photographs and short rhyming text, shows us the steps for making a jack-o-lantern, starting at the pumpkin patch and ending on the front porch.
Preschool to Primary Level
This book is a great resource to build background knowledge in a preschooler. If teachers take children on a field trip to the pumpkin patch, this book is a great lead-in to that trip. Or, it's a perfect read-aloud upon return from the pumpkin patch. What are we going to do with our pumpkin now? Let's read and find out! It's also a great resource to show how procedures work. After reading aloud this book, teachers of primary grade students may want to create a class book (a shared writing experience) showing procedures of particular activities in the classroom. Students can even use a digital camera to take photographs for the book! What a fantastic resource to have in the room when new students arrive.
Jack-O-Lantern is a good resource to read aloud to students when discussing procedural writing in the upper elementary grades. While the text is not actually written in procedural form, the photographs demonstrate the order of a procedure. Students can use the photographs to write a procedure for creating a Jack-O-Lantern using procedural words, such as first, second, then, next, etc. Or students can use the photos as a model to write a different procedural piece. Have students take photographs of the steps of a process and create their own procedural book.