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Halloween Day Activities for the Classroom

As a teacher, I SO looked forward to Halloween. I’m convinced my brain would erase the exhaustion from the previous year leaving only giddy, naive, anticipation. There’s something magical about Halloween in an elementary school. From the Parade to the party, some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around them. Halloween as a teacher is SO MUCH FUN and SO EXHAUSTING. How a day can be looked forward to as the best day, and remembered as the worst day will forever be a mystery. If this is your first Halloween as a teacher or you’re a seasoned pro… embrace it, and do your very best to enjoy it. I wanted to share some of my favorite Halloween activities that work great the day of, week of, or even during the month of October. Many work well in elementary, upper grades, all the way up to High School! ***Word of caution: Don’t throw your management out the door. Treat the celebrations and special activities as rewards that are to be earned. DO NOT be afraid to pause or cancel an activity because of inappropriate classroom behavior. Follow through and be just as consistent, if not MORE with your management on a day like Halloween!

Halloween Poetry Project:

Holidays are the PERFECT time to work on language and poetry. Especially with language, and figurative language if gives you a bass to build on and tie into. It also keeps everything fun, exciting, and different. Each holiday I try to have a project that encourages and examines figurative language. Halloween is no different. This project is SO FUN. The kids eat this one up.

Students create a “Flap” Bat book. Here you define the different parts of figurative language and brainstorm different “Halloween” examples. My original book is listed to use as a reference. I glue their flap books in their interactive notebooks to act as an anchor chart throughout the year and during the activity.

Next, we move onto the writing activity. This poem template came from one of my dearest friends and colleagues. It is PERFECT for Halloween. To start we use the brainstorm page to think of as many “Halloween” nouns, adjectives, and verbs we can. You can have the students work in small groups, then come together and share or keep it a whole class activity. They LOVE this part and are so creative! Next, you challenge them to put them all together to create “Halloween” descriptive language, take it a step further by using alliteration. (Warty, witches, wobble…) Give them time to experiment with their list. Have them work in small groups, then share their favorites with the class keeping a list they can use when it comes time to format their poems.

I’ve included different poem templates to meet your student’s needs. One basically acts as a guide where they are guided with what type of part of speech to insert. When they are finished they have a wonderful Halloween poem that is sure to please. Once everyone is done I have them rewrite their poem so I can display it in the hall with their Halloween art! Keep reading to see the GENIUS idea I use to create Halloween Art.

Purchase from My Shop Here

Roll A Monster Review:

I LOVE this one! I feel like this is one of my best-kept secrets when it comes to the products I create. Roll a monster is a review game that is so fun students don’t realize how much work they are doing, let alone the practice they are getting in. I enjoy using this as a whole class review, however, it would work great as a reteach, and enrich activity, individual center, or rotations, test prep…etc!

Students work in teams of 4. Each member is assigned a number 1-4. If you don’t have teams of 4 partner students up that need extra support. Each of the four teammates will solve at least one problem per round, then take turns bringing their answer sheet to be checked by the teacher. If a team answers all 4 problems correctly the teacher gives them the next round of problems to complete. When a round is completed the same teammate that brought the answers to be checked off, rolls a dice and draws the specific body part of their unique monster. After each round, the teammate that brings the answers to the teacher rolls the dice and draws the monster rotates. ***Make sure to watch the video below for a brief explanation of the activity and a tip for splitting your students into their groups!

***To make this review a bit more challenging I simply answer yes or no when the sheets are brought back to me to pass off. If the students answer all of the questions correctly I say yes and hand them the next round. If even one of their answers is wrong all I say is “no”. This requires the students to go back together to determine their mistakes, which results in extra practice and a more solid understanding of the concept.

It’s incredible to see the collaborative art piece students come up with while they work together as a team. Each round is specific to a part of the monster. For example, in round 3 the dice roll determines the type of nose their animal will have. Depending on the number they roll their monster could have a beak, a snout, or even a trunk…etc! The dice roll and drawing keeps things fun, and the kids stay engaged as they anticipate what their final monster will look like!

You can play as many rounds as you choose! Typically, I would play a minimum of 8. However, in the 5th-grade version I created there are as many as 12. Trust me this one is a winner. If you are a 5th-grade teacher, make sure to check out the Math review I created that goes over Prime Factors, Powers of 10…etc! Anyone else make sure to snag the editable version that allows you to create your own review through powerpoint. Simply type in the review questions from the boring textbook and watch the problems come to life.

TIP: Before starting the Roll a Monster Relay, I always make sure to have a discussion with the class about the main objective of this activity. Many like to think it’s for fun…Wrong. Though that is a top concern, learning the material is always number one. Everything else comes secondary. To reinforce this I motivate and facilitate by giving 3 awards at the end of the activity. 1 goes to the team to finish first, another to the team with the best artwork (I let the students decide this with a vote) and lastly, I reward the team that worked together the best, where I felt the most learning was taking place. This REALLY helps. Please please please tag me when you use this in your classroom! I want to see the monsters your students create!

Purchase 5th Grade Math Version Here

Purchase Editable Version Here

YouTube Guided Halloween Art:

This one is genius and will give you a much needed mental break to avoid a mental break down due to Halloween in the classroom overload. After students have finished their poems I turn the time over to YouTube to direct the class in a How-to-Draw Video. Because YouTube can be sketchy, especially in the school setting. I’ve scoured the tutorials and bring you my very tried and true favorites. In the past, I have done the Frankenstein and a couple of Haunted Houses. Both of which the students absolutely love. The Frankenstein especially holds a special place in my heart! When students have finished their drawing I give them time to spruce them up with details, shading, and color if desired. From there, students mount both their drawing and finished Halloween Poem on construction paper to create a treasure that can be displayed in the hall or taken home.

A few tips that allow this to work swimmingly. 

  1. Mute the video. On Halloween, all it takes is the tiniest corny joke from the YouTube illustrator to send your class into a frenzy. I like to play Halloween music, or classical, or a mix of both with the Harry Potter Soundtrack. You’re. Welcome.
  2. Slow the video WAY DOWN. Did you know you can change the playback speed of the video. I’m not too proud to tell you I learned this nifty little trick from my very own 5th graders. You have a couple different options. As a class figure out a good pace to play the video. 
  3. Play the video all the way through for the class to watch and observe before beginning. This will allow for fewer stops as the students will have a better idea of what to anticipate. 
  4. Make sure students have a good eraser, and more than one pencil before beginning. 

A list of my FAVORITE YouTube Halloween Directed Drawings:

Halloween Stem | Steam Ideas

I’m always on the lookout for fun holiday-inspired STEM | STEAM ideas to try in the classroom. There, of course, are a lot of fun Halloween ideas to try. ***If you do attempt to do a little Stem in your classroom come Halloween day, my only piece of advice would be to structure it as much as possible. The more free reign, the more room for chaos. As a teacher, a teacher on Halloween Day, chaos is your enemy.

One of the ways I structure my Stem projects is by having students complete my STEM | STEAM planning sheet, and reflection page. This keeps them focused on the task at hand and requires them to think. Too often I think Stem projects miss the mark simply because students didn’t quite get there and only saw the fun. Though Stem | Steam projects SHOULD be fun. They should also be a building, learning experience that shapes how students think and view the world. These planning pages help scaffold just that. To learn more click here. 

Click Here to Purchase the STEM|STEAM Sheets

Halloween Stem Ideas:

Spider and the Fly:

Make time for a read-aloud. No matter the age. Period. My Favorite Halloween book of ALL. TIME. Is the famous poem, The Spider and the Fly set to illustrations by Tony Diterlizzi. I don’t even know where to begin with this text. This is an ageless story that just screams for rigor. This can be enjoyed and analyzed by 1st graders, all the way up to High Schoolers and beyond. The stage is set for wonderful and meaningful discussion, and the illustrations though black and white, are completely enchanting. Everyone has a handful of books they consider beloved. This is one of mine. If Halloween has been the day it has every potential of being as a teacher and even the thought of a read-aloud brings dread. You’re in luck, though I don’t think it has the same magic as holding the actual book. You can still share the story through the video below.

 

 

Reader’s Theatre

I love a good reader’s theatre and this one is no exception. The Boy who Wanted the Willies, is SO FUN. My 5th graders loved it. Remember when you are printing all those scripts that you can actually save them from year to year. The first time you print them, after assigning roles. Have each student go through with a red pen or marker highlighting their lines. Writing the name of their character at the top of the page. This simplifies things for everyone, including you come next Halloween.

When assigning roles I try to keep things as fair as possible. I begin by writing each role on the board. I make sure the students know which roles require A LOT of reading. This allows students to be more accountable for their choice when they pick which character they would like to read for. After that, I start randomly drawing class numbers. When a student hears their number, they are to write their name next to their desired role. With this specific Reader’s Theatre, I would need two casts for the entire class to have a part. You can also add a couple of roles such as director, and sound technician. The sound technician is in charge of sound effects. With the smaller roles or multiples, you may consider assigning students to more than one role.

With any reader’s theatre, the focus in on fluency. Once mastered let them move to actions, movement, sounds, props…etc. I suggest working on this throughout October and then performing for the grade level, their classmates, or even the school come Halloween!

Click Here for the Script

 

Blackout Math

If you haven’t tried Blackout Math in your classroom. Halloween is the PERFECT day to give it a try. All you need is a black light and highlighters. Use black butcher paper to block out light from the room. You can, of course, add to the effect with glow sticks and anything neon! Consider it a glow day and have a blast with this unique way to add a little zest to your teaching!

 

Halloween History

Another great way to celebrate Halloween is by learning a little bit about it’s history and origin. One of my favorite ways to do this is through a QUIZIZZ. “Quizizz allows you to conduct student-paced formative assessments in a fun and engaging way for students of all ages.

Benefits of using Quizizz:

  1. Student-paced: Questions appear on each student’s screen, so they can answer questions at their own pace, and review their answers at the end.
  2. BYOD: Can be played by students using any kind of device with a browser, including PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  3. Lots of options: You can pick from pre-made quizzes that were added by teachers, select applicable questions from different quizzes to create your own, or simply start from scratch.
  4. Reports: Data. Data. Data.
  5. Quiz Customization: You can customize the quiz to the needs of your class.

Click here to see a list of Ready to Go Halloween Quizizzs’

Check out these ideas for the day after Halloween!

What are your favorite ways to survive… I mean celebrate Halloween in the classroom? Comment below or connect on Instagram or Facebook!

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“There is a better way to prepare, because great faith has a short shelf life. We could decide to persist in studying the words of Christ in the scriptures and the teachings of living prophets. This is what I will do. I will go back to the Book of Mormon and drink deeply and often. And then I will be grateful for what the prophet’s challenge and promise did to teach me how to gain greater faith and maintain it.”
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Samuel risked it all.⁣

After being kicked out of Zarahemla, he returned to the hard-hearted Nephites, climbed that outer city wall, dodged arrows and stones, and put his life on the line to preach repentance and salvation through Christ.⁣

He prophesied that the Son of God would come to redeem “all those who shall believe on his name.” (Helaman 14:2)⁣
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Believe on His name.⁣

To “believe on His name” is really to believe on His 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴—and there are over 200 of them throughout the scriptures. Christ’s myriad titles perfectly capture who He is and who He can be in our lives if we’ll only believe. ⁣

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When we need an ally and a friend, He is our ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER.⁣

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When we need saving, He is our SAVIOR.⁣

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What’s in a name?⁣
What’s in 𝘏𝘪𝘴 name?⁣
Everything you and I will ever need.⁣
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What is your favorite title for Jesus Christ?
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*A beautiful, talented student at the school where I formerly taught created this artwork 👏🏼 Checkout @emma.st
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“As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. The honest in heart heed his words, but the unrighteous either ignore the prophet or fight him. When the prophet points out the sins of the world, the worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Many a prophet has been killed or cast out. As we come closer to the Lord’s second coming, you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them”

– President Ezra Taft Benson
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So very much of pure prayer seems to be the process of first discovering, rather than requesting, the will of our Father in heaven and then aligning ourselves therewith. […] When we do conform to His will, God will pour forth special blessings from heaven upon us, as was the case with Nephi, the son of Helaman” (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [1979], 93–94). Elder Neal A. Maxwell ...

The Lord loves effort. Even when our effort feels like it is next to nothing, or all we have left, it is something. I think I’m learning that the Lord not only loves effort, but through the enabling power of our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement… that effort can be consecrated and become more than what we ever had to give in the first place. Not only that but the Lord blesses us in our efforts. “When we do conform to His will, God will pour forth special blessings from heaven upon us…” I have felt this. In the tiniest ways, I have felt this.
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Loved this excerpt from the #comefollowme manual this week:
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Think about evidences that the Lord has given you. For example, maybe you haven’t literally heard the Lord’s voice, but have you felt “a whisper” from the Holy Ghost that “did pierce even to the very soul”? (Helaman 5:30; see also Doctrine and Covenants 88:66). Perhaps you’ve been in darkness, cried unto God for greater faith, and been “filled with that joy which is unspeakable” (Helaman 5:40–47).
What other experiences have strengthened your faith in Christ and His gospel?
Helaman 5:29–33: What experiences have we had with recognizing the voice of God in our lives?
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The language in Heleman 5:12 has always really intrigued me. Scriptures like this one can become really relevant by simply noticing a single word. In the case of this scripture that powerful word for me is When.

Do you see it? Did the verse become that much more powerful to you by simply paying attention to that single word?

Notice that the verse doesn’t read, “If the devil shall send forth his mighty winds,” or “If all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you…”. The language instead is when.

Hardships, trials, pain, discomfort, and all-out storms WILL come, no amount of righteous living can prevent them… However, if our foundations are firm, and built upon our Savior Jesus Christ… We will not fall. There is peace in that. There is promise in that. There is POWER in that.
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Guys. I don’t even know where to begin.... Except be on the lookout for this fun little DIGITAL project to be added today!
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🍋Students come up with a One Word Goal for the school year/ first term...
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“It is not by chance that you have been reserved to come to earth in this last dispensation of the fulness of times. Your birth at this particular time was foreordained in the eternities. You are to be the royal army of the Lord in the last days. You are “youth of the noble birthright.” (Hymns, 1985, no. 255.) In the spiritual battles you are waging, I see you as today’s sons of Helaman. Remember well the Book of Mormon account of Helaman’s two thousand stripling warriors and how the teachings of their mothers gave them strength and faith. These marvelous mothers taught them to put on the whole armor of God, to place their trust in the Lord, and to doubt not. By so doing, not one of these young men was lost. (See Alma 53:10–23; Alma 56:41–56.)”. -President Ezra Taft Benson ...

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