Carving jack-o-lanterns: an American experience

Instead of studying grammar, today’s English as a Second Language students studied ghosts and gremlins.  Everyone carved a pumpkin and then did a circle-the-word puzzle, in which Halloween-related words were embedded within a chart of seemingly random letters and could be found going up and down, sideways or on the diagonal.  I wasn’t sure that all the students would want to take part in carving, but everyone did and all seemed delighted with their results.  They dutifully completed the puzzle, though I’m pretty confident that my advanced beginners left without knowing the meaning of most of the words, e.g., crypt, cauldron, and mummy.  I was relieved, however, that they did not ask me for definitions, as I’m not at all clear on the distinction between goblins and ghouls.  Seeing adults from Korea, Japan, China, Mexico and Iran so engaged and getting such pleasure from an activity that I normally don’t pay much attention to was rewarding for me too.  And they added their own cultural twists to the experience. Nearly everyone took home pumpkin seeds to roast, one reason being that, according to a Chinese student, “they were good for diabetes.”

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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2 Responses to Carving jack-o-lanterns: an American experience

  1. Sylvia Soholt says:

    I’m tempted to say a picture is worth 1000 words, but we do need your words to give the background behind this fabulous picture.

  2. Marilyn says:

    Don’t ever think that learning isn’t fun!

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