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Halloween Theme

Compiled By: ColoradoTeach

Here are some Halloween theme ideas to use in your classroom.

On Halloween
Posted by: 1956BD

I read them Chris VanAllsburg's The Widow's Broom. I turn out the lights and read this wonderful Halloween story and magic fills the room. They always love it.

I always have a craft for them to do. They have to read and follow the directions on their own. They can help one another, but I do not help them. The objective is to read and follow the directions on their own. They are proud when they finish it and they love having a product to take home.The trick is finding one that is clearly written where you do not need expensive materials. I keep trying something new each year in search of the perfect one.

I have written 10 story problems with the Halloween theme. Each year I just change the student names. I include everyone in my class somewhere in the exercise. They love solving problems when the are about a holiday and about them.

They have written scary stories on their own and will get to share them with the class on Halloween. I only do two or three presentations at a time so they do not have to sit still too long.

We will play the spelling game, Sparkle, to review our spooky word list for the week.

I will also finish the last chapter of Monster's Ring by Bruce Coville that day at the very end of the day. I give them a glow in the dark skull ring along with the chant from this novel that will bring out the magic in the "monster's ring". I have it written just like it appears in the book, in green ink on orange paper. The ring is taped to it. They love it and leave all prepared for a night of trick or treating.

They will have practiced poems by Jack Prelutzsky in his book It's Halloween. They will give dramatic readings to our Kindergarten buddies.
They enjoy being the stars for a few minutes.

I have found that if you just go with the flow that day and embrace the holiday you can still get some learning out of them. But, you have to be creative. I'm still trying to figure out what you do in class the day after Halloween. They are usually so tired that it is a lost day. I have often wished that Halloween could always be the last Saturday of October.

I hope some of this helps you make special plans for your class. Good luck and have fun.

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Halloween Day
Posted by: Anne M.

I always carve a Jack-O-Lantern with my class. First we talk about the things we have to do to carve it. I write each step on a sentence strip. (about six steps, keeping the wording simple.)
Then I put them up out of order in the pocket chart and we then sequence them. I might mix them up two more times and we put them in order again. Then I give each child a paper with a pumpkin that has writing lines on it and let them write
(copy) the steps in order. As they are writing I call students to come one at a time to help get the seeds from the pumpkin.
Another activity I do is draw a map on an overhead transparency of a neighborhood. I name the streets "Boo Avenue" , "Spook Street" , "Witch Way", etc. Then I label the houses with the childrens' names. I have each child tell me using cardinal directions and street names how they would get from their own house to Trick or Treat at another classmates house on the map. (I choose for them who's house they go to)If they get there correctly they get a candy treat from my Halloween pumpkin.
For Math we do patterning with orange, black and white craft beads and elastic to make a Halloween bracelet.
As for a party one cookie or cup cake and a juice bag at the end of the day as I read a Halloween story. Have A Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Bertie

You could have just about anything if you can think of some creative titles for the vampire brains (cauliflower) lizard fingers (cucumber spears) peeled eyeballs (grapes) witches blood (cranberry juice) cut slices of cheeze with a halloween cookie cutter...see what I mean? I'm sure you can come up with a great name for any food you want to serve!! Cut bananas dipped in plain yogurt.....skeleton fingers!

No costumes at our school, we do crazy hat day or crazy hair day. We spend our party doing a lot of crafts rather than eating, and that helps. We use a plastic bowling set and tape ghosts on the pins (BOO Bowling) or put a pumpkin face on the wall and pin on the nose or mouth. Put kids in a circle to bounce a black balloon around to each other (bounce the bat/witch) or set real pumpkins in a zig zag path for a mini golf or soccer footwork challenge called "Pumpkin Path". The kids make spider headbands and we have parents face painting, we make patterns with halloween stickers, decorate pumpkin muffins with colored cream cheeze candy corn and licorice whips, work in groups to carve pumpkins. Light them with inexpensive battery lights, turn out the lights, and have a contest for the funnyiest/ugliest/scariest/happiest face. Draw names to take the pumpkins home.

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Posted by: bertie

You will be jealous, but our grade six classes organize a Pumpkin Party for us with simple activities around the edge of the gym - fishing game, bouncing on the kangaroo balls, using the climber, musical chairs, bean bag throw, plastic bowling game etc. We use ordinary phys ed materials and just rename them "Boo Bowling" "Skeleton Bounce" or "Spider Web crawl". At the completion of each activitiy the child "wins" a treat or coupon.

We bring in one or two parents and split our class into 3 groups, so that each group is about 6 or 7 children. The parent or teacher takes her group around the gym in any order, depending on which activity is free. 2 classes are in the gym for an hour at a time, so approx 6 supervised small groups are touring the events. Doing every event is not the goal, having fun for the hour is. The supervisor holds paper bags labelled with each child's name - in go his/her treats. The bags are stapled at the end of the hour and will go home uneaten. When we return to our room, half the children get to decorate and eat pumpkin shaped cookies or cupcakes (provided by the parent council), and get a story...supervised by Gr 6 again, and half get faces painted or temporary tattoos and a story. After about 20 minutes we switch.

Then we go to our own rooms to do whatever I want to wind up the fun. No costumes, but it is a Hot Lunch Day and we do have wacky hair or crazy hat day too. Everyone seems to go home happy but not crazy. I usually work in some pumpkin math (estimating seeds, circumference, etc) and maybe some Halloween writing (like "Old Witch Old Witch What do You See") coloring pages and word searches.

Halloween parties
Posted by: jjj

As a PTA president I started a Pumpkin Hallow night at our school. Children were asked to bring a decorated pumpkin-- no carving allowed-- during the week. On Thursday night we had a short music program and served pumpkin and apple pie, hot cider and coffee. The pumpkins were displayed on the stage and in the inside quadrangle on bales of hay. Pumpkins displayed down the kinder hall. Kids were very respectful to the pumpkins and no one bothered them during the week. Our school is all inside halls. Classes were NOT open but the library was-- I think she had the book fair going that night also.

Kids were so creative when you could NOT carve the pumpkin-- pumpkins painted with yellow and black stripes and pipe cleaner antannae for a bumblebee.

A perfectly shaped pumpkin painted red, silver glitter to look like a strawberry

A pumpkin with bell pepper ears, carrot nose etc for a veggie man

3 tiny pumpkins stacked together and dressed like a snowman

a tiny pumpkin sprayed silver and mounted on a wagon with wheels to look like Cinderella's carriage.

Last year it was during Halloween week so the kids were encouraged to wear their costumes that night-- not allowed to wear them during school time.
Pumpkin Hallow held on Thursday night and pumpkins go home on Friday with the students or that night if they need help from parents.

Each child who brought in a pumpkin received a certificate of participation and a pumpkin shaped button. 6th grade only voted on best pumpkin design from their 3 classes and teachers gave them a bag of candy.

Another school has a scarecrow festival. Each classroom builds a scarecrow and displays it outside their classroom-- again PTA serves pie and everyone comes to see the display.

Both very successful nights with a big turnout.

Posted by: Carolyn

When I was in school we had a great time with Halloween--the costumes, parties, and all of that. I loved it, and I considered it to be one of the hallmarks of childhood. Even back when I was doing my student teaching back in the mid 80's, kids did literature activities, added the witches corn in math, and did cute art projects with jack-o-lanterns, etc. However, it seems as if we have gotten away from such fun because so many are offended by Halloween, and some even feel it's an anti-Christian festivity.

In my last school, we solved that problem by having a schoolwide "fall festival." We took the kids to various large areas of the school building and did a lot of the traditional fall activities, such as bobbing for apples; getting face paintings; etc. The kids didn't dress in costume, but we still had fun.

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Halloween Party Fun
Posted by: Velma

One thing that I've done in the past is the "Scary Bag of Goodies". Remember this from your childhood? Set up a series of stations that the students will visit as they follow the "Host" on a Halloween Walk. The Host reads a scary story as he/she leads the group to each station. At the station each child then has to touch/sample/whatever a halloween horror. (This works really well with several adults who can each be a host to a group). Think of all the halloween gore- peeled grapes which can be eyeballs, a rubber glove filled with half frozen jello or ice water, cold spaghetti for intestines... Get the idea? Have fun!

in the spirit of halloween...
Posted by: gateacher

I am doing two things next week in social studies. One thing is very hands on and I think that it would make a good lesson but you will need to be prepared. I have asked parents to donate an uncarved pumpkin. I am hoping to have at least 5 (one for each group of kids). We are going to make globes out of pumpkins. We will paint it blue, give it an equator, label the poles, the hemispheres, trace patterns of continents on it and then paint the continents. Last but not least, we will label the oceans and continents with a sharpie. I hope this turns out. I am real excited about it. My children are used to activities like this, but if your children are not, I would not advise doing anything out of their "familiar zone." Principals are good at knowing when you are showing off for them or if you are always doing that kind of thing. The second thing I am going to do is to look at several ghost towns on the internet and discuss what happens when resources dry up-- what happens to a community. Then we are going to write about a ghost town on ghost patterned paper for halloween. I think this is a more low-key lesson. Have fun anyway!

Halloween art
Posted by: Phyllis

Although this is paper and glue, kids like to do it.
Cut a long strip of dark blue paper about the size of tractor-feet paper for old printers. Give each student a 9 x 12 piece of black paper to make a silhouette of his own home decorated for Halloween. Doors and windows should be cut out with yellow paper put on the back to indicate light in the house. Someone should be at the open front door of each house giving out a treat. Tree silhouettes (bare limbs), street lights etc. add detail. Give each child a 5 x 7 piece of black to do a silhouette of his/her family car or van and a some small pieces of paper about 5 x 1 and 1/2 to make themselves and their friends dressed for trick-or-treating. Assemble the houses in a row along the blue paper, putting trees, street lights, etc. between the houses. Leave space at the bottom for the street with cars moving along. Add beams of light from the cars, pets on the porches or looking out the windows, owls in the trees, the moon, and other items to complete a scene of kids in the neighborhood going trick or treating.

I hope it works for you if you don't get a better idea. I waited to see if you got lots of ideas .

Halloween Craft Ideas
Posted by: Carolyn

Last year we made Halloween paper mache masks. The kids had fun and it wasn't too messy (the smell was a bit much). If you start a few weeks ahead of time they can be ready for your schools Halloween party. My kids had a blast wearing them to their assembly. I used balloons as the foundation but I'm sure there are better ideas out there. Cotton balls soaked in the solution worked well to make noses and eyebrows and zits. Don't forget to make two small holes on either sides so you can attach ribbon and make two holes for the eyes.

Halloween lessons
Posted by: Virginia

Karl, here is a lesson I use...sorry it is not language arts, but it is math.

I program a sheet for each student to create a Math Monster. Here is how I set it up:

number of eyes 21 - 15 =
number of arms 4 + 4 =
number of legs 2 x 3 =
Monster's Body Your Design!

The list goes on for noses, hands, spots, toes, fingers, and feet. I also leave a space for the
Monster's Name: ____________________________

I attach a cover worksheet to a sheet of white construction paper for students to use when drawing and coloring their "Math Monster". I program about four to five different worksheets so the math problems are not all the same for the entire class.

I have used this activity at several different grade levels and it is always a hit with the kids. The Math Monsters are also great decorations! Good luck and Happy Halloween!

Halloween Party
Posted by: Pam

Here are some ideas we have done for Halloween.

Halloween Bingo- use candy corns for the pieces. Make the boards from poster boards. Use Halloween related words.

We had centers with different activities.

How many words can you make from the word "Halloween"

Decorate jack-be-little pumpkins. Make them into spiders by using pipe cleaners for legs and draw on face.

Hope this helps!

Posted by: patsi

How about a Halloween bulletin board using the children's handprints.Bats: trace each child's open hand on a folded piece of paper.Place thumb right on fold of a folded piece of black paper.This should create a two prints of the child's hand connected at the fold;hence making it look like a bat when it's cut out.Add googly eyes and draw mouth with chalk.Ghosts: use white paper and trace child's hands,but make sure to round off the palm area for the head of the ghost.
Add eyes with black paint created with fingertips.For background I would allow the class to paint haunted houses on black paper with neon/glow in the dark paints (Wal-Mart).If it is possible and you could add a black bulb to shine upon these pics, they look awesome!I would even stretch some "cobweb" stuff (cheap at Dollar stores) on the corners. You go girl and get creative.

Halloween writing
Posted by: s. brown

I have students write personal narratives about a favorite time they dressed up. This covers you for any familyt hat does not celebrate Halloween. Then when the students conference with me I emphasize using describing words to make the story come alive. When the students have completed their final copy of the story, each student adds legs, arms, and a head around the paper with other materials and construction paper to represent the character they dressed up as. This makes a fun display. Sometimes I have accordian pleated the writing which makes the body of the person more flexible but also makes it a bit more difficult to read the terrific stories--so I haven't done this in a few years. Depends if you want a more 3-D look to your display.

Halloween observation
Posted by: Virginia

Jamie, here is one idea for you. Give a mini lesson on punctuation - periods, question marks, and exclamation points. Follow it up by giving students four pages programmed with the following:

page 1 - You just entered a haunted house. Describe it using three to four statements.

page 2 - You hear eerie noises. Write two exclamations on how you feel.

page 3 - A ghost appears. Ask the ghost two to three questions.

page 4 - You see a witch flying on her broom. Write two to three command sentences.

Students should draw illustrations on each page to match their sentences.

Give each student a sheet of paper to design a cover for their Halloween Punctuation Booklet.
I hope this is of help to you.

Halloween stories Gr. 5
Posted by: Debby :)

There is a wonderful book called "A Newbery Halloween" that has at least 15 Halloween stories written by Newbery award-winning authors. I have it in hardcover, but I do not know if it comes anyway else because it is pretty large. Check out Barnes & or another book store site to find it. The kids really seem to enjoy it! Hope it's helpful.

halloween party
Posted by: janet

This is too late for this year, but a great plan for next year.

We have 4 "centers" during our party. A parent helper leads each center. Ideally, the teacher just monitors and helps where needed.

1. Cat Cupcakes - frost a cupcake - put an oreo on top - use frosting to "glue" on M&M eyes, candy corn ears and string licorice whiskers. Set aside to eat together at the end of the party.

2. Bat Puppets - trace a bat shape on black construction paper and cut out - use a white crayon to draw eyes and vampire type mouth - glue or tape on a tongue depressor - fold the wings so they will look like they are flying.

5. Mummy Hands - Put a candy corn in each of the finger holes in a clear plastic glove. Fill the glove with popcorn. Secure with a twist tie. Top it off with a plastic spider ring.

6. Spider Hats - Make a black headband from construction paper. Provide black strips of construction paper to make 8 legs. Fold the paper like an accordion. Glue on the headband.

When centers are over, we eat the cat cupcakes.

Halloween Game
Posted by: Melissa

I made up a game that the kids loved. I made game spinners and labeled each section with various pumpkin parts (Eye, Eye, Nose, Mouth, Stem)and made one section with just a orange pumpkin (without an eye, nose, etc.). (Good parent helper project)

Class is divided into teams, and each team has a spinner, blank sheet of paper, and writing utensil. When you say "go", each team begins spinning. Each child gets to draw what they land on. THE CATCH is that you must keep going around the circle spinning until someone lands on the plain pumpkin section. You can't begin until that's drawn. First completed pumpkin wins. We play several times to increase the chance of each team winning. (It's a good competitive game for the kids who may not excel in physical competition.) There isn't a lot of movement since they have to stay huddled in groups. They love it. I've played this game with 2nd through 4th grade.

halloween writing
Posted by: Lianne

I found this idea during my travels on the net. I have yet to try it but I found it interesting and fun for the kids at any grade level.

Situation: The teacher is visiting a pumpkin farm and is looking for the best pumpkin to buy.

Student task: They must write a convincing/persuasive text convincing the teacher to buy or not to buy them. They must give reasons why they are the best or why they should not be bought.

I thought this was a simple fun idea, that I could
attempt as my first persuasive writing task. They idea of convincing me not to buy them seemed like the more challenging task!

Good Luck!