Classroom Ideas for Halloween
Halloween is a brilliant day filled with costumes and sweets. The lead up to half term can be a little hyper with children getting excited for Halloween and Half-term. Why not incorporate Halloween into your lesson plan and engage the students in some Halloween themed activities? Here are a few ideas you can use to bring the Monster Mash to your classroom.
It’s really easy to incorporate Halloween into your English lessons. It can be how writers create atmosphere in a piece of writing, or how they use symbolism. Writers such as Edgar Allen Poe are great for incorporating some spookiness into your lesson. A fun way of engaging students could be to show them the Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror episode “The Raven”. Perhaps you could read the original and compare it to the Simpson’s version?
For younger children why not get them to write a Halloween poem. Use a word such as Pumpkin, Ghost, or any other Halloween related word. Write that word vertically down the side of the paper and have the students to write a sentence or phrase that goes with each letter. The is a fun activity for the students and something they can take home to show their parents.
This last activity can be used for the younger and older students, all that will change is the detail. The activity involves pumpkins, you can either bring in pumpkins or use pictures and give each student a picture. To get their creative writing juices flowing, have each student to give their pumpkin a personality. Write a brief background story about their pumpkin, name, age, career, etc. They can either choose a famous person or perhaps make up their own biography. To add more detail why not get your students to write down their pumpkin’s aspirations and dreams.
If you purchased pumpkins for the English activity. Why not re-use the pumpkins for some maths-based activities? Pass a pumpkin around and separate the students into small groups and have each group to guess the weight of the pumpkin. Once you weigh the pumpkin, have the same groups to estimate the size of different pumpkins and see whether the estimates get closer the more pumpkins you weigh.
Symmetrical spiders. Using a graph paper, have the students try and draw a perfectly symmetrical spider. To make this activity more engaging, you could have the students to draw half of the spider and swap papers with partner who must complete the rest of the spider.
Fractions aren’t normally seen as a fun activity. Why not have the students create a Halloween recipe for witch’s brew. The recipe created should serve a certain number of witches. Once the students have created their recipes, they should exchange them with a classmate who must check to see if the recipe serves the number of witches they said it would. If your class isn’t learning fractions, you can still use this task but have the students to add instead of using fractions.
Slime has taken over schools up and down the country. Why not use it for educational purposes and make it spooky as well. You can either make one amount of slime which the class will observe or split the class into groups and let them decide on which ghoulish colours to pick for their slime. Have the students record the steps of the experiment and their observations about the chemical reaction and the various states of matter that happen depending on what is happening with the slime. Have them test how long it takes for the slime to change back into a liquid once contact is taken away.
Another fun experiment to do is creating a bubbling cauldron. Start with a clear glass and water, add different objects such as raisins and have the students to record the results. To make it more Halloweeny, why not name the ingredients scary names such as bat brains. Have the students to add Alka-Seltzer aka witch’s tablet and record the bubbling effect it has on the raisins. To compare results, you can add different ingredients to new glasses to see how they react to the witch’s tablet.
History is a fairly easy subject to link with Halloween. Perhaps teach the students the history behind Halloween such as the Celtic festival of Samhain, the Salem witch trials or Día de los Muertos and have the students compare those holidays to our modern-day Halloween.
Another avenue you can go down is the history behind mythical creatures such as the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Vampires and Werewolves. Have the students write a piece on the history of these mythical creatures, how the stories came about and lastly whether they think they are real and why they think those years ago believed them to be real.
Many students will be tired of colouring in Halloween themed paper so why not liven things up and have the students to decorate your classroom door. Have the students to collectively decide a theme for the door, and what they will decorate it with. Have the students to either work in small groups or individually and organise who will decorate what part of the door. This activity allows the students to have control and make decisions collectively. It’s great at the end of the class to see what the students have created.
If decorating your door isn’t your cup of tea why not get the children to decorate some masks and have a little parade. The masks can either be out of paper or foam and have a competition to see who can create the scariest mask. Give the students a variety of craft supplies such as glitter, pipe cleaners and anything else in your art cupboard. At the end have a little parade and have the students vote on which one they thought was the scariest.