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Jack Prelutsky

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Mrs. Mann's Poetry Corner

Introduction: This poem is great to read around Halloween time. As a science experiment, you could have a pumpkin sit in your classroom (in a pan of course) and watch it decompose. It would especially be effective to carve a face in the pumpkin prior to having it decompose. Maybe you could even have one carved and one not carved to compare (the carved pumpkin should decompose much faster).

The Time Has Come

I think the time has come to throw
the jack-o'-lantern out,
it smells less like a pumpkin
than it does like sauerkraut.
Its expression is peculiar,
it has lost its friendly grin,
it's tilting sort of strangely,
and its cheeks are caving in.

Its forhead is collapsing,
and its eyes are heading south,
its nose is now connected
to the middle of its mouth.
I admit it's been the focus
of some happy family scenes,
but we've had that Jack-o'-lantern
for eleven Halloweens.

from "It's Raining Pigs & Noodles"
by Jack Prelutsky
(Scholastic, 1993)


Extension: For an extension you could have the students draw a picture of the pumpkin they visualize in the poem or the pumpkin in your classroom (if you've had a pumpkin rotting in your classroom), then place them on a bulletin board with this poem.