The Spooktacular Season is upon us, and what better way to get your students excited about reading, writing and science than with some fun and slightly frightening Halloween-themed classroom activities? Whether you’re a Raz-Plus, Reading A-Z, Writing A-Z or Science A-Z user, we’ve got you covered on how to incorporate aspects of Halloween into your lesson plans.
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Raz-Plus and Reading A-Z
Grades K-2 Books
Halloween Costumes – Read this book aloud with your class and use the book to discuss what students are dressing up as for Halloween. Have students make a new page for the book. They can draw a picture of what they want to dress up as and write this sentence: "I look like a ____________ ." This book is perfect for kindergarten students and is supplemented by high-frequency words and visuals to help understand the content they are reading.
Hector’s Halloween – Use this Shared Reading Book in your classroom to help you model text-to-text connections, sequence events, and making predictions. A five-day lesson accompanies the book, and the fun characters in the Projectable Book with Prompts promote discussion as students practice reading skills and strategies. This shared reading book is most suitable for first and second graders.
Teacher Tip – Use the character cards to tell the important events in the story.
Grades 3-4 Books
The Hollow Kids Series – This series has become a spooky favorite among young readers as students are taken on eerie adventures involving haunted forests, strange villages, and creepy basements. Read the first book, The Hollow, in spooky voices and assign students roles to narrate the various characters.
Teacher Tip - Take it a step further and add in props! Supply cat ears, a gladiator helmet or a white cloak for those reading the parts of the three children featured in the story.
The History of Halloween – This book is available at three different reading levels R, U and X, and discusses where common Halloween traditions come from. As a whole-class or in groups, create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast how Halloween has changed over time.
Grades 5+ Books
The Raven – In this creepy American classic written by Edgar Allen Poe, illustrations are included to help students use visuals to understand the poem. Use sticky notes to connect the poem’s mood to the literary elements used such as repetition, rhyme, alliteration, or onomatopoeia.
The Monkey’s Paw– This hair-raising mystery about a magical monkey’s paw will keep young readers’ hearts racing, pages turning, and their minds wondering, “Does the monkey’s paw really have power?” Engage in a class discussion and separate the class into two groups – those who believe the paw was magic and those who believe the occurrences were simply coincidence. Facilitate a friendly debate. Have the groups create a persuasive argument and have one student present their ideas from each group. This book is available at levels V, Y and Z1.
Teacher Tip – Have creepy music playing in the background as they read the book on their own or utilize sound effects when reading in a group like fire crackling and pounding on the door.
Grades K-5 Writing
Build-a-Book– Ignite students’ passions for writing by prompting them to create a scary story! Students become authors as they use the Halloween-themed clipart available in the Build-a-Book app to create their own thriller. Your class can read each other's spooky stories in the Kids Writing Library as a fun follow-up activity over the course of October.
Teacher Tip – Setting constraints can actually spark creativity! It sounds counterintuitive, but parameters can actually help get our gears spinning. Give your students constraints on number of characters or assign different spooky settings to different groups of students.
Grades K-2 Life Science
Pumpkin iFile – If you are focusing on Life Science during your science block, you might find this pumpkin iFile relevant and timely to Halloween. iFiles allow each student in a group to read about a specific, high-interest topic related to unit concepts. In this iFile, students learn about different features of pumpkins and how they grow. This iFile is written at the lowest of three reading levels.
Grades 3-4 Life Science
Pipe Cleaner Skeletons – If your science class is focusing on Life Science, October is a great month to introduce vertebrates, invertebrates and skeletons! We offer various resources on these topics, but the pipe-cleaner skeleton activity is a fun way to integrate Halloween themes into science! In this guided activity, students construct skeleton models and explore how bones and joints help support a body and allow it to move.
Grades 3-4 Physical Science
“Bats” Themed Quick Reads – Using Echoes To See– Teach your students about the properties of sound this October. Bats are often associated with being spooky creatures and they are also fascinating to scientists because of their ability to use echolocation to navigate at night. Decorate your classroom in bats and learn about their unique qualities this Halloween season!
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