Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin' around

Next week is midterms for my students. Mid-term exam week is alot like Finals week in America. All classes stop, and the students come in to school only to take a test. I assume they can go home when they finish...but Japanese students never go home.

Because midterms are next week, my JTE and I are taking it easy. I dedicated this week I would only give minor Conversation assignments and discuss Halloween. The students are FASCINATED by Halloween. In the first lesson, I reviewed Halloween's origins and covered the traditions in America. The real fun started today when I did my second Halloween lesson.

While the kids worked on their assignments, I carved a pumpkin. Japanese pumpkins are like rocks. American pumpkins have the hardness of a watermelon. It took one helluva sharp knife to murder my pumpkin. I picked a simple design (it's my first time carving a pumpkin after all). When I finished, I showed my students a cool powerpoint full of awesome pictures of cool jack o' lanterns. Some of the designs included The Death Star, Hello Kitty, Super Mario, and Jack Skellington. I even told them the folk story origin of Jack O' Lanterns. The students were entranced.

The best part of my lesson? The JTE let the students take pictures of my Jack O'Lantern and me. Imagine being surrounded by 20 students with cameras. I felt like a celebrity and the students, paparazzi. The candle in the pumpkin actually starting burning it a little from the inside, so the classroom smelled like cooked pumpkin!

By the way, my JTE and I have way too much fun in class:


  1. Great job on your first pumpkin carving! I think it is so cool that you are getting paid to just talk about your life and America. Next month is Thanksgiving, are you going to have them make turkeys with the tracings of their hands? LOL

  2. yay for comments!

    Ya, the Japanese government gives me a good salary to culture these kids AND teach English conversation. I do both...but I have more fun doing the evidenced by the pictures.

  3. You are so creative. It is so great to read about your exploits and how much fun you are having doing your work. Miriam is right . Thanksgiving is great. Remember the pilgims and indians Mrs Carlock you to have? "One little, two little, three little indians"..... Too bad you won't be there to be Santa Clause!

  4. FYI: I will be visiting an elementary school as Santa Claus. yes, a Jew will be Santa Claus.