My How To Book

Contributor: Marlene Vogel. Lesson ID: 10221

Carve out some time to learn about sequencing, or putting steps in order, in order to write a story about how to do something. A video, fun projects, and writing a "how to" book complete the lesson!



English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
PreK/K, Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • Are you really good at doing something?
  • Are you so good that people come to you to ask you how you did that?

Putting those skills into writing is a great way to share what you know. Learn how to write a "how-to" book!

A fun fall tradition many of us enjoy doing every year is carving pumpkins!

Today, you are going to work on putting together a story explaining how to carve a pumpkin. When you are finished with this story, you can share it with others so they can learn how to carve a pumpkin, too!

Before you can begin to write a book on how to carve a pumpkin, you need to make sure you have all the instructions together, and that those instructions are in order.

Now is a good time for you to learn a new vocabulary word. That word is sequence. Sequence means to put things in order.

For example, if you were given the numbers 3, 1, 4, 2, and 5, and I asked you to put them in sequence, you would put them in order. On a piece of paper, put those numbers in sequence.

The video Order of Events will help explain sequencing:

  • Does your answer look like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5?


You can sequence stories as well. Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Next try sequencing the actions and pictures below in the correct order. What happens first? Second? Third? Last?

Great work!

Okay, time to make sure you have information for all three parts of your "How to carve a pumpkin" story.

Our Pumpkin (below) is an example of a pumpkin carving book, put into a slideshow you can view. Take a look so you can get an idea of how to put your book together.

It is a good idea to have a pumpkin in front of you while preparing your story!

  1. On the board or a big piece of paper, your parent or teacher will write three columns that say, "Before," "During," and "After." This chart will help you put together sentences for your story. It will also help keep the steps in order.

  1. You do not want to write a story that just has the steps in it. That would be boring for you as the author, and for the reader. Describe the pumpkin along with the different steps you need to take to carve it. To do this, think of your five senses, and use as many of them as you can to describe your pumpkin before carving it, during the carving, and after the carving.

  1. On the board or paper, your parent or teacher will write your answers to the following under the Before column:

    • What does the pumpkin look like?
    • What does the pumpkin feel like?
    • Does the pumpkin have a smell to it?
    • If you move the pumpkin, does it make a sound?
  1. After answering those questions, work with your parent or teacher to put those descriptions into full sentences. For example, you may want to say, "The pumpkin is orange," or, "The pumpkin has a green stem." Make sure to put all of your descriptions into complete sentences. You can use the Pumpkin Observation Sheet (Downloadable Resources) to help you write or copy-write your sentences.

  2. Next, with your parent's or teacher's help, begin carving your pumpkin. Cut out the top of the pumpkin, where the stem is. Scoop out everything inside the pumpkin and put it in a bowl. Draw your face on the pumpkin, then carve out the face.

  3. Clean up the mess and work with your parent or teacher to describe the carving process. Use your five senses and questions similar to the "Before" stage. Your parent or teacher will write your answers under the word, "During."

  1. Again, at the end of the describing stage, take time with your teacher to put your descriptions into complete sentences. If you used the Pumpkin Observation Sheet during the "Before" portion of the lesson, then continue to use it in the "During" portion.

  1. Finally, look at your carved pumpkin and describe it to your parent or teacher, who will put your descriptions under the "After" column. Complete this portion of the lesson by putting your descriptions into complete sentences. Again, use your Pumpkin Observation Sheet if you have been using it so far in this activity.

Time to practice your sequencing skills! A fun activity is the How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich sequence worksheet, (Downloadable Resources).

The next step in our sequence is to go to the Got It? section to put together your book!

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