Most kids love Halloween and wait for "trick or treat" with great
anticipation. What other time of year do you get to dress up like
your favorite monster, animal, or superhero and enjoy free candy?
While some schools are banning Halloween celebrations, others
continue to have the ever-popular costume parades and pumpkin
decorating contests. Here are some fun and easy ways that you
can incorporate the spirit of Halloween into your classroom activities.
1. Make it a reading day: Read All Day Nightmare by R.L.
Stine. This interactive book allows readers to choose the plot
of the story. Have students read the book on their own, or in
small groups, with the decisions made by popular vote. You can
then pass out worksheets on the book, or have students write their
own adventure stories.
2. Quote the raven: You can use Edgar Allen Poe's poem,
"The Raven," as the center topic for the day. This works best
with upper-elementary school students who can understand the language
of the piece. You can pass out printable worksheets of the poem,
discuss themes, or draw pictures of the room and the raven.
3. Going batty: Science classes will enjoy learning about
this unique and often misunderstood mammal. You can build bat
houses, look up different types of bats, and discuss bat safety.
Younger students may also enjoy making paper bats that you can
hang from string from the classroom ceiling.
4. Walk in the cemetery of fiction: Pick a short, spooky
story, keeping in the Halloween spirit. After each paragraph,
ask students to tell you what happened and what they think will
happen next. You can then have students write their own alternate
endings to the story.
5. Creative writing with scary creatures: Write on the
board, "This Halloween I saw a (insert Halloween character here).
This was no ordinary (insert Halloween character here), but was
very special because…" Have students complete the story, telling
the audience about their special Halloween character. You can
then choose to illustrate the stories and put them together in
books to take home.
6. A history of Halloween: Pass out printable worksheets
on different cultures and how they celebrate Halloween or a similar
holiday. Classes can be divided into small groups to create presentations
on the different customs, foods, and significance of Halloween
around the world.
7. Ghoul and goblin tag: For physical education classes,
or some recess fun, you can play ghouls and goblins. Split the
class in half, one half being the ghouls and the others being
the goblins. Randomly, the teacher should shout out one or the
other. The team that is called then chases the other team, capturing
as many as they can and converting them. This continues until
everyone is either a ghoul or a goblin.
8. Costume party: Half of the fun of Halloween is dressing
up. Encourage kids to wear their costumes to school (making sure
that they follow any school guidelines, such as no masks or excessive
gore). Award prizes for the scariest, funniest, and most creative
9. Halloween games: If it will be too difficult for your
students to learn on Halloween, consider fun games. You can try
traditional favorites like bobbing for apples, or blindfolded
guessing games where peeled grapes are "eyeballs" and cold spaghetti
10. Make your own goodies: If you have the facilities,
your class will enjoy making their own Halloween goodies. They
can decorate their own Halloween cookies or make ghoulish cutout
sandwiches for lunch. Alternatively, you can send homeschool worksheets
home a week or so before challenging students to bring in their
own creepy creations to share with the class.
Halloween is a fun time for most students, and can be turned
into a learning experience with a little bit of creativity. Take
advantage of this creepy holiday to introduce the class to new
concepts and ideas.