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The Story of the Carved Potato: The Origins of the Jack-'O-Lantern

from Ohio History Connection

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Have you ever wondered why we carve faces into pumpkins for Halloween? When Irish immigrants came to America, they brought their own beliefs and traditions, which over time became part of American traditions. In this program, you'll hear the story of Old Wicked John and how Jack-'O-Lanterns came to be a part of our Halloween celebrations.

Program Rating

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About This Program


By Request: $75.00

Program invoices will be sent out after program has been delivered.

Bulk program discounts are available. Contact our studio for more details.

Please allow up to 5 business days to have your program request processed.


Approximately 30 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5, 6, ParentPublic Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:

Minimum of 5

Maximum participants:

We prefer groups of 35 or fewer students but are willing to make exceptions.

Primary Disciplines

Social Studies/History, Language Arts/English

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Skype, iChat, Vidyo, Movi/Jabber, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

We ask that program reservations be made at least 2 weeks in advance. Be sure to list an alternate date in your program request in the event that your requested date isn't available. Please allow up to 5 business days to have your request processed. .

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs canceled due to inclement weather. The full presentation fee will be charged to sites, which cancel with less than 24 hours notice.

About This Provider

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Ohio History Connection

Columbus, OH
United States

Virtual Learning Experiences from the Ohio History Connection offer an engaging, blended learning adventure that brings history to life for students, educators, and lifelong learners of all ages. Our award-winning, live and interactive programs can easily be accessed at your site with equipment you’re likely to already have. Join us as we use the tools of history to understand ourselves, each other, and the world around us through the lens of curiosity.

Our mission is to spark discovery of Ohio's stories, embrace the present, share the past and transform the future. Connecting people throughout the nation and the world to the stories of Ohio is a part of our daily work and is accomplished through educational efforts such as our distance learning programming. 

The Ohio History Connection inspires all learners to use the tools of history to understand ourselves and each other, to experience our world with curiosity, and to engage as change-makers in our communities.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection and the State of Ohio have maintained a longtime public-private relationship whereby the Ohio History Connection carries out dozens of history services for Ohio and its citizens.

Matt Schullek

Program Details


Included as a part of the teacher's packet that is sent out prior to the date of your scheduled presentation.


After participating in this program, students will be able to discuss how population diversity and immigration impact cultural traditions. Students will also have a better understanding of how traditions change and evolve over time.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

National Standards Connections
NCTE – ELA K-12.4 Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
NCTE – ELA K-12.12 Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

NCSS – SS.1 Culture
NCSS – SS.2 Time, Continuity, and Change
NCSS – SS.4 Individual Development and Identity

Common Core State Standards
ELA CCSS: SL.4-12.1, SL.4-12.2, SL.4-12.3

State Standards

Portions of the following academic content standards may be addressed over the course of the program.

Ohio Revised Standards – Social Studies
Grade: Three
Topic: Human Systems
Content Statement 8: Communities may include diverse cultural groups.

Grade: Four
Topic: Human Systems
Content Statement 13: The population of the United States has changed over time, becoming more diverse (e.g., racial, ethnic, linguistic, religious). Ohio’s population has become increasingly reflective of the multicultural diversity of the United States.

Grade: Five
History Strand
Topic: Heritage
Content Statement 3: European exploration and colonization during the 1400s1600s had lasting effects which can be used to understand the Western Hemisphere today.
Geography Strand
Topic: Heritage
Content Statement 10. The Western Hemisphere is culturally diverse (eg., language, food, religion, art, music) due to the influences and interactions of a variety of world cultures.

Grade: Six
Topic: Human Systems
Content Statement 8: Diffusion of agricultural practices and products, technology, cultural practices and major world religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism) impacted the Eastern Hemisphere.