Focus on Mood with a Spooky Story
Why not use the days leading up to Halloween to focus on mood with a spooky story? First, find a spooky story that is appropriate for your students. After reading the story together as a class, brainstorm a bunch of different adjectives on the board. Instruct your students to pick an adjective that describes how the story made them feel. Next, give students time to list words and phrases from the story that support their adjective choice. Ultimately, it is important for students to understand that the author’s word choice creates the mood of the story. If Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart” is appropriate for your students, you might be interested in this differentiated close reading. Your students will have an opportunity to work with tier two vocabulary and analyze Poe’s use of tone and mood.
Encourage Visualization with a Chilling Read-Aloud
Visualizing makes reading comprehension possible. The Haunting Hour: Chills in the Dead of the Night by R.L. Stine is perfect for encouraging students to create mental pictures based on the words they hear. Pick and choose from ten different spine-tingling tales for a haunting Halloween themed read-aloud. Extend the activity by asking students to create illustrations based on the reading.
Have Fun With Halloween Word Games
Playing Halloween word games is a fun and festive way to reinforce vocabulary and spelling skills. Download three free Halloween word games from Literacy in Focus on TpT. Pick and choose your favorite game, or use all three! Play the word games as a class, or have students complete them individually.
Research and Write About Pumpkins
Halloween is a great time for a cross-curricular lesson about pumpkins! Start your lesson with a standard KWL chart. In order to fill in the first column, ask your students what they know about pumpkins. Next, ask your students what they want to know about pumpkins. Use those questions to generate a research guide. Students can use the internet or library books to find answers to their pumpkin questions. As a culminating activity, have your students write an expository paragraph about pumpkins. Finally, have students share what they learned about pumpkins to fill in the last column of the KWL chart. If this sounds good, but you want to save time, check out the All About Pumpkins resource from Literacy in Focus on TpT. It includes everything you need for a standards-based lesson without the stress of having to plan it.
Celebrating and honoring a holiday without the stress of a craft or classroom party is possible. Your students will be happy with the change of pace and you will be happy with less mess!