Fun & Spooky Pumpkin Poems

Fun & Spooky Pumpkin Poems – Brief Article

Andy Rash’s poem “Dim,” about a jack-o’-lantern who doesn’t want to burn brightly, is a wonderful seasonal poem to share with your class. Use it to teach a rhyming poetry lesson and add fire to your students’ own writing.

Reading the Poem

Reading aloud helps children to understand the poem’s meaning and unravel its complexity. Model ways to read a poem by reading it in several different ways, emphasizing rhythm, rhyme, and meaning. Then invite choral reading by pairs of students. Each pair reads two lines, with the first group repeating the refrain (“I’m a dim jack-o’-lantern,/ and I’m happy to be dim”). Help your students to identify the rhymes and to discover the rhyme pattern.

Writing Your Own Poems

“Dim” is presented from the point-of-view of a jack-o’-lantern. Ask your students what they think it would be like to be a jack-o’-lantern. What about a bat or an owl? Encourage them with questions, such as “What would it be like to fly?” Make a list of words and ideas. Then, share the Poetry Reproducible (page 50) and help students to write their own point-of-view Halloween poems.

About the Poet

Andy Rash is a poet and illustrator who lives in Brooklyn, NY. “Dim” is from his first book, The Robots are Coming and Other Poems (Scholastic, 2000). As Andy says, “It is a collection of poems about robots and werewolves and giant ants and things.”


I’m a dim jack-o’-lantern

and I’m happy to be dim.

Other jack-o’-lanterns

burn a fire to their rim.

Their candles cook their pumpkin tops

until they shrivel up and drop

and squish their candles, snuff the light

but my small flame can burn all night.

I’m a dim jack-o’-lantern

And I’m happy to be dim

The brighter the jack-o’-lantern

The sooner the lid falls in.

A Walk Through The Poem


The voice in the poem belongs to the pumpkin. When an object is given human feelings and thoughts, this is called anthropomorphism.


Ask your students to find the rhyme patterns. It begins with A B A B. When rhymes occur at the ends of lines, this is called end rhyme.


Shrivel, squish, and snuff are evocative words that create a picture in the mind. They are alliterative, sharing an initial consonant sound.


The first lines of the poem are repeated to emphasize the meaning. The refrain also signals to the reader that the punch lines is coming.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Scholastic, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group