Will Hubbell’s book is the perfect read aloud for autumn and Halloween. The story is all about a young boy growing his pumpkin so the story would pair well with a nonfiction or science unit. We love that this book isn’t overly focused on Halloween so if your school doesn’t celebrate you could still read it. Our lesson plans for this book focus on reading comprehension, writing, grammar skills and social emotional learning. - Jodi and the Starts With a Story Team



One day before Halloween, Tim carved his jack-o-lantern. It had a big silly smile and Tim thought it was perfect. He decided to name the pumpkin Jack, and it stayed in his room long after Halloween. Eventually, Tim’s mother told him it was time to get rid of the pumpkin as it was starting to rot. Rather than throwing it in the garbage, Tim left it outside in the garden. As the seasons changed, the pumpkin rotted and shriveled up into the ground. 

By the time spring came, all that was left was some pumpkin skin and seeds. Tim buried the seeds and soon a plant started to grow. Tim spent months weeding and watering his pumpkin plant. As Halloween got closer again, Tim had pumpkins growing in his garden! There were so many he was able to share them with his friends. Tim picked his own pumpkin and carved it into a jack-o-lantern. Once again, he named his pumpkin Jack.


Pumpkin Jack is a great mentor text for teaching students important reading comprehension strategies, writing skills, and grammar concepts. All of our book companions come with activities that relate to these subject areas. Check out just some of the skills included in our book companion!

  1. Practice analyzing the setting of a book and discuss how setting impacts the story. 
  2. Have students practice sequencing the important events in the story. 
  3. Integrate descriptive writing by asking students to describe the pumpkin.
  4. Teach students about informational writing by having them write about pumpkins. 
  5. Use examples from the book to teach a lesson on time order words and shades of meaning. 
  6. Teach a lesson on capitalization and possessive nouns. 
  7. Discuss the importance of demonstrating patience.


If you are looking for “ready to go” activities for the first day of school, be sure to check out the book companion. With it you’ll receive all of the following resources to align with this specific book:

  • comprehension questions
  • 30 writing prompts with themed paper
  • vocabulary activities
  • word study print & go activities
  • ideas for grammar lessons with focus sentence printables
  • social emotional learning discussion topics
  • graphic organizers to target specific comprehension skills and strategies

This resource is all you will need when it comes to planning your read aloud for the book Pumpkin Jack. Gone are the days when you have to brainstorm discussion questions, look online for student activities, and spend hours gathering resources. Now everything you need is included in this book companion allowing you to make choices on what you want to use with your students.



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It's hard to explain how amazing the Starts with a Story book companions are because there is just so much goodness included in each one.  It's best if you experience using one for yourself. Sign up below & we'll send you an entire book companion to try out for FREE!


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