By Teachers, For Teachers
Halloween is one of the most fun holidays. Kids love the spooky monsters, sounds, music, dances, treats, traditions, haunted houses, and costumes that surround the holiday. As an educator or parent that has an iPad, iPhone, or iPod you can capitalize on this time to help kids learn while celebrating the holiday.
Here are free apps to help encourage math, literacy, and problem-solving skills. Some of the apps are just fun!
Kids create a scrapbook with various creatures, words, and their own images. Have the students write stories to accompany their books. They can even work in pairs. They can email the scrapbooks to their parents or friends or post on Facebook. Only works on the iPad.
Kids create e-cards with various choices in backgrounds, characters, and their own images and text. Have the students e-mail the e-cards to friends of family members.
Created for the iPad, this free app features 8 different learning games for kids to celebrate Halloween and learn math, spelling, and vocabulary.
With this great app from Parents magazine, kids create a jack-o-lantern that lights up after it is carved. Kids can even add spooky stickers to their pumpkin. There are various pumpkins to choose from and backgrounds. Have the students e-mail the e-cards to friends of family members. A follow-up task includes having students get into pairs. Student A describes the pumpkin created. Student B must try to recreate the pumpkin by the verbal description. Make sure the students save the pumpkin to their photo library to compare. You can also have students try to carve their pumpkins in real life after the drawing.
Students read this story and it has a personal touch. Kids upload their own photos for a surprise ending at the end of the story.
Like the famous Talking Tom app, kids speak and an animated skeleton repeats their words in a funny voice. Their messages can be recorded through video and sent to parents in an email. Have the students send Halloween greetings to their families or friends or create a video of them doing a Halloween rap.
This app provides several word searches. These are divided in levels from easy to difficult. Listen to scary music or your own while you play. There are over 200 puzzles under 3 categories- Halloween, costumes, and treats. This app would be great to encourage students to learn various vocabulary. Try getting the kids to then use the words the find in a story or poem.
Another Halloween wordsearch app with cool backgrounds but less features than the above app. A spooky soundtrack adds to the Halloween fun.
Guess the Halloween word and get a pumpkin with treats. If you lose, the pumpkin is carved then becomes sad.
Students create zombies and choose from various backgrounds, bodies, clothes, eyes, hairstyles, heads, pair of legs and mouths. A follow-up task includes having students get into pairs. Student A describes the zombie created. Student B must try to recreate the zombie by the verbal description. Make sure the students save the zombie to their photo library to compare. You can also have your students create stories about their zombies and read them in a circle aloud.
This app is for teens. It is based on a famous game that I played in my teens before mobile devices were mainstream. Teens type in various options for categories and at the end this app tells their future. Have the students work in pairs then after read the fortune to each other. Some of these deal with romance, costumes, and more.
This book has several features to help kids follow along the story and learn vocabulary. At the end a recipe is given for roasted pumpkin seeds, which would be a great reward for a teacher to make with a class after reading a story.
Kids create Halloween scenes with characters and backgrounds. They can even animate them. Have the students write stories to accompany their scenes. They can even work in pairs. They can email these to their parents or friends or post on Facebook.
Halloween Countdown - Energize Software
Features include a Halloween countdown with sounds, various sounds (some you pay for so be careful), ringtones, background music loops, 100s of costume ideas, wallpaper images, trivia, and a flashlight for trick-or-treating.
16. Halloween Voice Transformer
Only the reaper voice is free, but kids speak into the mic and record their message which then is played back in a spooky voice. Have the students email Halloween greetings or messages to their families or friends or even record a spooky story or song. Thanks to Tara Benwell for recommending this app and sending me a spooky message in my email!
Ace Math Halloween Games Free Lite - Hien Ton
Learn multiplication, division, and addition and celebrate Halloween. This is basic math that is spiced up with Halloween animations and sound effects.
MouthOff™ - ustwo™
This app works best on the iPhone/iPod. Kids choose between various silly mouths and hold the device to their mouth while they talk. This always brings a lot of laughs. Encourage students to repeat vocabulary or even tell spooky stories in a circle.
What Halloween apps have you discovered to encourage literacy? Share with us in the comments section!
This article was written by Shelly Terrell and reprinted with her permission. You can find more of her writings and shared resources in her blog, Teacher Reboot Camp.