CISL throws the most incredible Halloween parties, including a pumpkin-carving student activity on the 30th of October. If you can’t make it to this fun event (probably because you’re doing last-minute costume shopping!) then follow these steps to carve your own pumpkin.

Before beginning, check out the list of vocabulary words in this article. If you do not know these words, use the app to find the definition. (Click here to learn more about


  • carve a pumpkin (collocation)
  • slip
  • dull
  • marker
  • kits
  • intricate
  • scrape
  • stem


How to carve a pumpkin for Halloween

1. Safety first: use pumpkin carving knives

It might seem normal to just grab a knife and carve your pumpkin, but this can actually be very dangerous! Pumpkin skin is very tough and your knife can easily slip while you are trying to cut your design. Instead, try using the pumpkin carving knives that you can buy at any grocery store. The knife blade is dull, so you won’t cut yourself.

Other tools you will need include newspaper, a large spoon, a marker, and of course a candle or light.


2. Draw your face (or use a stencil)

Using a marker, draw your face or design. These days, you can buy pumpkin carving kits, which include stencils with intricate designs. Will your pumpkin face be scary? Cute? Surprised?


3. Cut the top and clean out the insides

Cut a hole around the stem, so it looks like a lid. Then, using a spoon, scrape out all of the insides. This will be messy! But that is part of the fun.


4. Carve the face or design

Using your pumpkin carving knife, cut the face or design of your pumpkin. Be careful, and go slowly: it is easy to cut too much!


5. Cut a hole in the lid, light, and enjoy!

Once you are finished, take your “lid” and cut a hole in it. This will allow the smoke from the candle to escape. (If you are using a battery light, do not worry about this.) Then place your light inside, put the lid back on, and enjoy your pumpkin!

Have you carved a pumpkin while studying English at CISL? Upload your photos to our Facebook page or our Instagram account.