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October Activity Ideas

Compiled By: luv2teach77

Whether your school celebrates Halloween or not, this collection is full of ideas that can be used throughout the month of October.

owls door decoration
Posted by: Bianca

I had my class color and cut out owls and two leaves. I had blue paper at the top of the door until about 2/3 the way down and then I had green for the grass the rest of the way down. I made a crumpled paper tree to go from the bottom until about 2/3 the way up - bare with no leaves! I then cut out the words Look "Whooo's" ________! It's cute and simple. The kids decorate the side of the door with their fall leaves and I add the owls to the tree with their names written on the owl.

harvest - ideas for next year! ha ha
Posted by: Cathy W

With my 4-5's we talk about harvest. We make corn one day by glueing tissue paper (from the end of a pencil if children are capable of holding it and dipping it in glue) onto a corncob shape. These are posted on a bulletin board to make a corn field.
The following day we talk about how crows try to eat the corn. We cut out a crow shape, teacher puts a slit in it, and children fold paper in accordian folds and slip it through the slit for wings. White reinforcements on either side make great eyes. These are also displayed.
Day three finds us needing help to save our corn from the crows, so we make scarecrows and post those as well.
I hope you have a 3 day week!
If you need to fill 5 days. . . . . .
Do a harvest wreath. Cut the center out of a paper plate. Children cut out and glue different vegetables to the plate. Add a bow of some kind.

Fall Art
Posted by: Amy

When I student taught kindergarten the kids fingerpainted a pumpkin. When the pumpkins were dry they added a mouth, nose, and eyes. They turned out really cute. When I taught 2nd grade last year I did some fall centers. In one we made a fall wreath. I had the kids bring in some leaves and they glued them around a paper plate with the middle cut out and we glued on a raffia bow at the top. I also had kids arrange leaves between 2 pieces of waxed paper and I ironed the pieces together. They looked great! You could also use contact paper. You could also make a class scarecrow...have a parent donate some old clothes and another make a cross for the scarecrow to hang on. Maybe another parent could donate hay to stuff it with. Have the kids stuff it and make a face with a paper bag. I did this with my daughter at a fun day and it turned out really cute! What out for hay allergies though. Good luck!
P.S. Isn't fall the best time of year!

Posted by: MJ

Leaf rubbings are fun to do also. We have even had kids bring in old white, or light colored, Tshirts. Then they pick the leaves they like from the ground. Lay them out in a design on the shirt. Place a paper sack between the front and back of the shirt, and spray paint lightly the front or back of the shirt. When you take off the leaves, it has a cool design on it. Kids love it! Spray paint is inexpensive and you can do about 20-25 shirts with one can. I usually looked for a bronze color, browns, or greens. You can even have kids bring in one can if budget is tight.
We used to do a science experiment with the leaves to before they turned colors. You crumbled up several leaves and put them in a baby food jar. Cover them with fingernail polish remover. Tape a strip of paper towel to a pencil and then lay the pencil across the top of the jar. Colors will creep up the paper towel. It is the colors the leaves will turn in the Fall. I haven't done this for about 5 years because I don't teach science anymore, but I think I remembered all the parts. It was impressive. Then once the leaves start turning you can see how they actually turn.

scarecrow art
Posted by: Cathy W

With my 4-5's, I have done the following scarecrow craft:
--I have a scarecrow picture that is in pieces. I photocopy it on colored constriction paper (dark blue, green orange and brown work best). Children cut it out (or you can cut out the body and children cut out the legs/arms). Pieces are either attatched with brass fasteners or glued together. Then children use brushes to put white glue on the scarecrow where straw would be sticking out. Decorate with buttons, tissue paper "patches" if desired. Then they can sprinkle shredded wheat on the glue. They may be mounted on a craft stick to be used as puppets.

'Hope that helps Have fun!

Posted by: HEIDI

Two ideas: one easy, one more interesting but a bit more of a challenge. I'm sure the kids will love the more difficult project.

Bring in paper lunch bags, scraps of fabric, some raffia, perhaps even some cord. Set students up in groups. Give each student a bag and give the group a selection of the fabrics (many parents would send in fabric scraps or even old clothing that could be cut up). Also give each team some glue, construction paper, and each student needs pastels to get really vibrant colour. Their mission: To design a scarecrow head as a mixed-media ssculpture. They could stuff the head with crunched up newspaper if they want and really make it 3-D, or leave it flat. Discuss the importance of these funny-looking creatures as something people sometimes build to place in a corn field so the crows will think there's a person there and the birds will be scared away. Kids will likely bring up the Wizard of Oz. Tell them that at Hallowe'en people sometimes make their property spooky by setting up scarecrows too. Let them go wild inventing scarecrows with individual personalities!

Alternatively, give each student art paper and pastels, and guide them in filling the page with a scarecrow's head, just like a super close-up picture. I suggest doing a sample on a page taped to your board to show them step by step, starting with drawing the bag, but not as a perfect rectangle because the bottom would be gathered up and tied off. Start them with yellow or peach pastel so they can fix up mistakes before they begin colouring. Encourage them to really fill the page, adding a hat, some straw at the neck, perhaps some shoulders... then colour it in!

how about..
Posted by: Kim C

Scarecrows! I love to read the story "The Little Old LAdy Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" Then we build the scarecrow out of the parts in the story and label it with the noises that the clothes made. Of course we role play the story several times so the kids really know the sounds. You can make a real scarecrow too! We made ours last Friday and I took pictures of the process. We're going to write a How To book on "How to Make a Scarecrow." I also used a chant I found on called "SCarecrow, Scarecrow." You insert the students names in one at a time wwhen you read it. I took pictures of my students showing a frightened face and I'm going to put the chant in their memory album with the picture. FOcus more on the fall aspects of Halloween. We also made tissue paper leaves. I traced a leaf onto oaktag and the kids glued tissue paper squares to cover the leaf. My asst and I cut them out and I put them on my tree bulletin board and they really look beautiful! Hope this helps.

Posted by: ck

A cute book I enjoy using for scarecrows is called The Lonely Scarecrow. It strats out with the scarecrow being lonely because he scares off all the animals, but once winter comes & he's all covered in snow, he becomes a friendly "snowman". Once spring comes, he's no longer lonely.
We have also done a color, cut & paste together scarecrow placing it on a large construction paper, or if you can, glue it onto craft sticks & stick it into a blop of clay (or something) so it stands up.
I had my students help stuff a scarecrow (old clothes) with newspapers and put it on a T frame to stand up. I made a T frame from plastic PVC pipe, anchored to a square base of PVC pipe (filled with rice from my rice table for weight). It was quite a hit with the kids. Everyone wanted their picture taken with him for their memory book!

Posted by: Em

I always do scarecrows around Halloween, we do a poem:
Scarecrow, scarecrow
How scary can you be?
You scared the ________ (racoon, crow, ?)
but you didn't scare me!

There is a third animal but at the moment I can't remember it. First we learn it, then I bought a scarecrow had from the dollarstore and the animals we needed stuffed or garden decorations- also from dollar store and we take turns acting it out and making our scarecrow faces. After that we make a class book, where I have the verse typed up with a line for the animal they write the animal they want and illustrate the picture.

Make a scarecrow art activity they make a face and a hat then we add staw (you can get it at craft stores) coming from under the hat.

If I think of other things we do I will add them- I love doing scarecrows they are a lot of fun.

This one's messy, but so cool!!
Posted by: ktbug6254

I have done this activity K-2. We read a non-fiction book about bats, supplemented with Stellaluna. Then the kids write bat fact/opinion paragraphs--can be longer or shorter depending on the ability-level.

Then using sponge bats (in the past I have used a template that I printed out from Word and cut the bats out of a kitchen sponge--only to find this year that there are ready-made bat sponges at Michael's this year for 50c!), we sponge paint. The trick is using black construction paper for the background and then having pink, orange, red, and yellow tempera for the kids to dip their sponges in. They can sponge paint all over the paper. When the project is finished it looks like the bats are flying at sunset because of the warm colors and the black background!

After the paintings dry and we have edited our paragraphs, we attach them and display. It really makes a cool bulletin board! If you are not afraid of a little paint, you should try it!

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another skeleton & jack-o-lantern
Posted by: teach first

On Friday, I am going to have my class make a Q-tip skeleton. I give the students a baggie of Q-tips, a small piece of white construction paper, and a 9x12 black piece of construction paper. I have the student's first cut-out their skeleton's head from the small piece of white construction paper given to them. They glue the head at the top of the black construction paper and then we start gluing down the q-tips. 2 q-tips for the spine, 2 for each arm and leg, 5 for the ribs, 5 q-tips cut in half for the fingers, and 5 q-tips cut in half for the toes. I think that is al the q-tips (I am trying to picture it without actually seeing it).

Last year, the kids did not like to use the liquid glue because many of the kids felt it was messy and got glue on their hands! (PLEASE!!!!!!!) I think this year's class with like it much better. They love all the art projects, whereas my class from last year complain ALL THE TIME about "it is too hard, I can't do that. There were times when I felt like why even bother.

Another art project I did yesterday and got the idea from Mailbox was making a jack-o-lantern with strips of orange paper. I gave each student 8 strips of orange paper (8 in. long and 1/2 in wide). They glued the strips down crossing them over one another until they had what looked like a orange asterisk on 9x12 black paper. After all strips were glued down, we glued on a green stem, 2 yellow triangles for eyes, another yellow triangle for a nose, and a yellow mouth, all of which they cut out from a 4.5 x 6 piece of yellow construction paper. These were really neat to hang in the hall.

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Dem Bones
Posted by: BeaJay

Have you read the book, Dem Bones? It is more science since it discusses the bones of the body, BUT there is a candy called Dem Bones to go along with this. My third graders will be taking 2 small packages and open them and sort them according to skull, bones, (candy is in shape of bones). They will record their pieces on a table then make graphs. Discussion to follow will include who has the most ???, how many more does Terry have than Rick, who had the most in their packages, anything you can lead them into discussing and using numbers with their responses. I have used this with former 4th and 5th grade students. They may eat the candy after the lesson is completed.

Pumpkin bowling
Posted by: msharkey

Not sure if this is what you are looking for but I'll share anyway.

Pumpkin bowling does not actually use real pumpkins but shoeboxes dressed to look like pumpkins (orange and black construction paper wrapped around the boxes and black triangles to decorate).

Kids take turns mowing down some pumpkins and keep track of how many they have knocked down.

At the end of the time, they have to add up for a final score.

The kids LOVE this. I do this in centers so there aren't more than about 4 in this center at a time. (I teach first).


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great project
Posted by: Kimberley

I have done this project with 3rd and 5th grade students. Rather than paint the continents, I have them color and cut out photocopied shapes. They then draw the equator and follow step by step instructions to glue everything in the proper place. I have done large pumpkins with groups but I purchased those and it got expensive. Now I have each child bring in a smaller pumpkin and they do their own. Elmer's glue seems to be the best at keeping the paper glued down. They just have to make sure they get all of the edges. Also, in 5th grade, I had the kids draw lines of longitude and latitude. I place the finished pumpkins on heavy duty paper plates with the the kids' names then put them in the hall outside my classroom. Will see if I can attach a picture.

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Instructions for globe
Posted by: Kimberley

Sorry for the delay. I don't have anything written out but I try to walk the kids through it slowly and model each step with a pumpkin of my own. The first thing I have them do is color and cut out the continents. Each of them takes a wipe and washes any excess dirt off the outside of the pumpkin. At each table I have a paper plate with some Elmer's glue and enough Q-tips for each child plus some extra. Each child also needs a permanent marker. first thing they do is draw the equator. They have to do it slowly and carefully... sometimes I have them work with a holds the pumpkin and turns it, the other draws the line. Then, I have them start with Antarctica... they put the Elmer's on the cut out right up to the edge... more is better because it dries clear. I model each continent. After the continents are on, I have them label the oceans with the sharpie marker. I place them in the hallway outside our room on paper plates just incase...
Hope this helps...

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Chalk Haunted House
Posted by: Sharon D. W-L

I am not doing too much Halloween as I also have a student who is not allowed to participate so we are doing a Spider unit instead. I figured this would be a concern so I have decided to do Spiders this year and Bats next year and keep switching these two themes for a few years. Problem solved. I'll have a few activities and an Art craft for Halloween but the rest will be Spiders. My school is having a Halloween Fun Fair in the afternoon so we won't even have a party this year and that is fine with me. :)

One art project I have done in the past is Haunted House and Halloween Chalk pictures.

Using black or dark blue construction paper each student designs a scary Halloween picture using a list of things that we brainstorm prior for journal and stories anyways.

Ideas: black cats, witches, hanuted house, bats, cauldron, jack-o-lanterns, mummies, skeletons, monsters, vampires, grave stones, bones, coffins, spiders and webs... (I leave off ghosts on purpose.)

I use hairspray and spray their pics after school to prevent the chalk from smudging. The paper does curl a bit so it is a good idea to lay something on them after they dry or you can gently roll them backwards to flatten them a bit.

We make tissue ghosts and glue one on to each picture. I also picked up those shiny confetti type things at Wal-Mart last year near Halloween and there were spiders, cats, pumpkin, and Happy Halloween shapes. I gave each student 2-3 of these and they could glue them on to the picture as well. :)

To make the ghosts each child is given 2 tissues. Roll one up in a ball and drap the 2nd tissue over the ball. Tie string/yarn to make the head of the ghost. I have just used a thin sharpie to draw on eyes and a mouth. I have also in years past gave them googalies (eyes) thet were very small to use for their ghosts. :)

If I rememeber correctly we make the ghosts first and I save them in a box and then I hand them out to add to the picture after. They don't get "their" ghost back but that is just how it works out.

Happy Halloween!

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folded haunted house EASY!
Posted by: luvmycat

I will attempt to explain the folding.

Use a 18X12 black piece of construction paper (You can practice on your printer paper)
Holding it vertically, fold the top edge down flush to the bottom (hamburger fold).

With the hamburger still in front of you fold the right edge to the left edge.

Open the last fold and notice the crease in the center.

Fold the right and left edge flush with the center crease.

Now comes the tricky part, lift the top left center one layer corner and force it to the left. You should see what looks like the bottom of a half rowboat, take the crease in the bow of the boat and lay it on the crease below it. You may need to stick your finger into the corner.
Press it down evenly.

Repeat for the right side of the house.

Now you have the framework of the house. The Farmer in the Dell poem goes inside the door. We use the parts of speech brainstorming to help us decorate our haunted houses and to write our poems.

I just supply my scrap box and let the kids decorate, the only guidelines I set down are what types of things are appropriate for school. I am always amazed at the creativity on their houses and even beyond as they create things that extend off their houses.

The published poems fit inside the doors. The house and the poem can easily be done in 2 45 min lessons.


I would be happy to post the parts of speech poem that goes with it.

If anyone gets this far and had success making the house with these directions please let me know (and if wasn't clear as well).

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Estimation Activities
Posted by: Socks

Here is the sheet for the estimation activities!

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Pumpkin Activities
Posted by: Socks

We can't celebrate Halloween so I do a Pumpkin Day instead. We start the day reading the story Pumpkin Day and making Pumpkin Pancakes (the recipe is in the book). Then we'll read Too Many Pumpkins and write about what we'd do if we had too many pumpkins. After lunch we'll read Pumpkin Soup and try some that I will have pre-made in a crock pot. Then the "real" fun begins! I'll have 4-5 pumpkins (depending on how many I can find!) and put the kids in groups. First we'll guess if the pumpkin will sink or float. They will fill out the paper that I attached (not mine, got it here last year ;)).

Then we'll do several estimation activities. One will be the circumference - they will cut a piece of yarn as big as they think will fit around their pumpkin. Then I'll do a real measurement and they'll compare theirs to mine. Next we'll estimate how heavy the pumpkin is. Each child will lift a 5lb. bag of potatoes, then lift their pumpkin and guess. Then we'll put the pumpkin on a scale and compare. Finally we'll estimate how many seeds are in the pumpkin and then dig them out and check! I'll have my kids put the seeds into condiment cups (ten in each cup) this should make it easier for them to count the seeds in the end! I have a sheet for this, I'll attach it in another post right under this one!

If there is still time after all that mess and clean up :rolleyes: we'll make a pumpkin book. The students will cut out two pumpkin shapes from orange construction paper. They will staple down one side so it looks like a book. On the inside I'll have them glue goldenrod yarn to look like the stringy stuff inside real pumpkins. Then they will glue down seeds. Finally they will write a description of their pumpkin inside and out to go with their pumpkin book.

I hope this helps you out!! Let me know if something needs explained more!

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