Engaging Kids Up To Halloween
Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends. I hope you are enjoying this weekend.
This week, we are changing gears and focusing on a day that kids love. It is almost Halloween and kids are already thinking about what costumes they will wear and different parties they might attend. It is a good time to share some activities and resources that are fun and also help to engage the kids in good learning strategies.
I have found that kids need a routine and structure even during special days in order to stay regulated when they are excited. That is why I usually take time to focus on different activities that will keep them learning, but engage them due to the theme.
Halloween activities can be started earlier in the month, or they can be kept until a day or two before Halloween depending on what you choose. For me, I usually kept more to a fall theme until near the end of the month and then added in the Halloween theme. It helped to keep the excitement level manageable. Also, it didn't stretch out the wait for the kids as much.
Literacy Ideas For Halloween
Kids often like to hear scary stories and write spooky stories or poems. This is a great time to try a scaffold for those who struggle with getting started. My kids enjoyed writing using this starter: I Was So Scared....
Literacy games and task cards can also be fun to use. They help with stretching the imagination and they can be tied into different elements or concepts that you wish to teach. I found that my silly sentences for working with parts of speech were a hit with the kids in my class and in other classes as well. I created them for English and French and found they worked well in both languages.
Math and Science Ideas For Halloween
There are many different opportunities to incorporate a Halloween theme into math. Data collection and graphing can be done for costumes, treats, characters, and a host of other categories. Practice of math facts and operations can be done with worksheets or task cards that have Halloween themed graphics or clipart.
Doing activities with pumpkins can also be fun and can combine math and science. Counting seeds, comparing designs, pumpkin shapes, cooking the pumpkin, and using it to make different recipes are just a few ideas. Pumpkin glyphs are also great to try at this time of year.
One of the things that really fascinates kids is potions. Using terms like "eye of newt", "frog toes" or "drops of blood" is sure to engage them. I remember when we would make up potions to drink and give all the ingredients fancy potion names. It was quite entertaining to watch as they saw these drinks being prepared. Really, they were just cola, grenadine, gummy worms, licorice babies, and some other gummy candies. Sometimes we would add orange juice as well. This might be fun to try with your students. You could even create a potion sheet with the "ingredients" listed.
Don't Forget Halloween Safety Tips
For younger children, a focus on safety is important too. This is a good time to talk about how to have a safe Halloween experience. They can make posters, and do some role playing or write stories that talk about what a safe Halloween should look like and sound like. Creating activities that help to discern what are safe and unsafe activities might be worth trying as well. Doing some art activities with a safety theme might be fun to do as well. Halloween can be fun for kids, but it needs to be safe.
I hope some of the ideas here help to make this Halloween fun and educational as well. Check out my Halloween category in my TeachersPayTeachers store for more resources.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.