By Teachers, For Teachers
Halloween is such a fun time of year, from dressing up in spooky costumes to picking pumpkins and eating candy corn. It’s the time of year that all children adore. If you are sick of the old, boring Halloween classroom activities, or have those select few students who are not allowed to participate, don’t fret, because we have a few fun classroom activities that all students will love. Here are five fun classroom activities to try this October.
Acrostic poems are a sure-fire way to get your students excited about Halloween. They are easy, fun, and can be a great gift for family members. All you have to do to get started is have your students chose a Halloween-related word such as Halloween, spooky, pumpkin, jack-o-lantern, or ghost. Then, have students write that word vertically down the side of their paper. Next, students must think of sentences or phrases that go with each letter in the word. Here is an example:
G - Ghost and goblins
H - Haunted house
O – Ooh, Halloween is so much fun!
S – Scary, too
T – Together we have a fun night!
This is a great activity to practice fractions. To begin, have students come up with a Halloween recipe for a witch’s brew. The recipe should serve a specific number of witches (6, 12, 24, etc.). For example, 3 cups of bats, ¼ blood, 1 tablespoons of frog slime, 2 chopped toads, etc. Each student creates a recipe and exchanges it with a classmate to check and see if the serving size fits the specific number of witches that they said it would. For younger students, you can have them add instead of use fractions.
This is a favorite among students. Divide students into groups of two and give each group a pumpkin. Make sure if you are doing this activity with younger students that you have had already created a removable lid on the pumpkin. Once students are in their groups and have their pumpkins, instruct them to estimate how many seeds are in the pumpkin before they remove all of the seeds. Next, have them remove the seeds (this is the fun part) and wash them off and count them. Once all seeds are counted, one member from each group will record their findings on the class chart in the front of the classroom. Then, together as a class, compare the findings from each group. Divide the seeds among the group members and send them home with instructions on how to roast them.
If you’re looking for a fun way to sharpen your students’ observation skills, then this hands-on Halloween writing activity is the way to go. To begin, you will first need a classroom set of pumpkins. Ideally, this is an activity that should be done at a pumpkin patch, but it will work just fine in the classroom. Next, have each student carefully study their pumpkin, looking for any noticeable details that will distinguish it from the others. Then, without revealing which pumpkin is theirs, each student writes a brief description of their pumpkin on a piece of paper. When students are finished writing, each child takes a turn reading their descriptions and challenging their classmates to figure out which pumpkin is theirs. When a student’s pumpkin has been identified, they take their pumpkin back to their desk.
A fun way for students to get creative is to give each of their pumpkins a personality. They can do this by naming their pumpkin, writing a brief background story about their pumpkin, and decorating it. Encourage students to be creative and really think about their pumpkins story. They can choose a famous person or make up their own biography. You can give them the following example to help them get started.
My pumpkin is named Taylor Swift. She is a famous singing pumpkin that is one of country music’s top recording artists. She was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, PA. Taylor started singing at age five and released her first album at age 16. She has now crossed over to pop music and has won many awards.
Do you have any new Halloween classroom activities that your students enjoy? Please share your ideas in the comment section below, we would love to hear them.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.