Halloween will be on every student’s mind this month; however, teachers
can use this excitement to deliver fun academic activities that will
lead to memorable experiences for their students! (Remember that some
religious groups may be opposed to Halloween so some adjustments will
be called for in some of the lessons.)
How does one proceed here? Well some background on the Halloween is necessary. HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN
– This site provides its ancient history, appearance in US, growth of
candy treats, just to name a few. The videos are short and to the point
so they can be shown in classroom with ease. Since this a general
description of the holiday, teachers at each level will need to decide
videos are appropriate for their students. Below are some ideas for
lesson plans for all students including English language learners.
The New York Times learning log
offers some incredibly innovative instructional activities for older
students. One sample suggestion that is quite creative is to have
students explore the horror genre in film and literature. Ideally, this
might be approached in small groups with defined roles. This approach
brings in the English language learner or others with special needs
since support is built into all interactions.
Another activity might be to have students explore fears and phobias
in an essay. This lesson would easily bring in internet skills as
students identify their fears and then describe them including here how
accurate the fears are in describing themselves.
Bright Hub Education
is a site with great ideas for middle school students for this
holiday. Have them read The Tell Tale Heart. Then have them identify
all the vocabulary words that they find scary and note them on index
cards for them later to use in writing their own skits using teacher
starter sentences. There are other ideas here also that teachers and
students would enjoy.
Teachers might also have students create masks of the scary characters the students created in their group horror stories.
ESL/ELLs (at any grade level)
This holiday may be new for them so introducing them to the holiday and
all the activities that come with it is well worth the time (and will
probably benefit others in the class as well). ESL LIBRARY offers many fun (building language and content development while having fun).
For fun and as a great opener, try Michael Jackson’s song THRILLER. The lyrics are also available. Print out copies so that ELLs can fully benefit from the video.
Well, we hope you find some great ideas from these sites and have a fabulous Halloween!