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Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#2453. Jack-O-Lantern Glyph

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Mon Dec 3 07:53:31 PST 2001 by Robyn Kernagis (
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Materials Required: pencils, crayons, a list of questions, a pumpkin drawn on a white sheet of paper
Activity Time: about 30-45 minutes
Concepts Taught: graphing through pictorial representation

Objectives: Each student will create a jack-o-lantern glyph that accurately represents his or her answers to a series of questions. The completed jack-o-lanterns will then be displayed in the classroom and the data will be interpreted by the class.

1-Review what a glyph is with the class. Explain that a glyph is a way to represent data pictorially.
2-Pass out the blank pumpkins. Discuss that each student will be creating a jack-o-lantern face on the pumpkin by answering a series of questions about Halloween activites and favorite treats.
3-Begin asking the questions listed below allowing enough time for each student to complete his or her answer before asking the next.
Q1: Have you ever eaten pumpkin seeds? (The stem color needs to be colored brown if the answer isyes and green if it is no.)
Q2: Do you like pumpkin pie? (Draw a smile if yes, a frown if no, and a sqiggly mouth if you do not know.)
Q3: Do you like scary or happy jack-o-lanterns? (Draw a square nose if you like scary ones or a triangle nose if you like happy jack-o-lanterns.
Q4: What is your favorite fall treat? (The eyes need to be triangles for carmel apples, circles for popcorn balls, upside down triangles for candy corn, and square if the answer is other.
4-Allow students to color their jack-o-lanterns.
5-The next part of the lesson requires each student or the class as a whole to interpret the data. Older students should do it on their own, while a whole class discuss would be more beneficial for younger students.
6-Ask questions during the interpretation such as: which students like pumpkin pie/how do you know, how many students have eaten pumpkin seeds, which fall treat is liked the most or least/what is an easy way to keep track of the count (tally marks for example),etc.

Extending the Lesson: This lesson can be made larger by including questions that require students to color the face different colors or the pumpkin yellow or orange and more.

Closure/Assessment: If the students interpreted the glyphs individually assess their ability to accurately interpret them. You can also assess the students glyph. I suggest doing a glyph each month. It can either relate to a holiday or event during the month or relate to the student (especially good at the beginning of the year as a getting to know you activity).