Halloween grew out of ancient Celtic traditions around Samhain and was brought to the U.S. by immigrants from Ireland and Scotland. However, the holiday also coincides with All Saints Day on November 1 and was originally called All Hallows Eve.
For teachers, there is nothing more terrifying than unengaged students, so bring your classroom to life, or in this case, to undead-ism, with these Halloween lessons and activities.
Create a Haunted Halloween House with AR
Using CoSpaces (opens in new tab), students can create a haunted virtual reality location or fill the classroom with augmented reality monsters and other ghoulish creations. This will get your students to use technology in a fun and creative way.
Create a Scary Halloween Story
With Minecraft: Education Edition (opens in new tab), students can create a scary story setting on the world building site, populating their tale with Halloween-themed ghosts and spooky creatures. The exercise helps develop students’ writing and storytelling skills.
Play Halloween Themed Games
You’ll find Halloween-themed quizzes, worksheets, puzzles, and other fun games and exercises at BogglesWorld (opens in new tab). These games and activities are suitable for younger students and will get them excited to study vocabulary as they develop problem-solving skills.
Survive The Zombie Apocalypse
The Zombie Apocalypse I: STEM of the Living Dead — the TI-Nspire (opens in new tab) is a free activity that teaches students the math and science epidemiologists use to track and prevent the spread of real-world diseases. Students will learn about graphing geometric progression, interpreting data, and understanding various parts of the human brain. Also, there will be images of bloody zombies to look at.
Learn About Halloween Word History
You and your students can look up the history of words associated with Halloween, such as witches, boo, and vampires. A team at the Preply (opens in new tab) online language learning platform used data from Merriam Webster to determine when these and other words first gained prominence. Halloween, for instance, made its way into the English language in the early 1700s. See below for more details:
Read a Scary Story
Reading a scary-but-not-too-scary story in class or having older students read a creepy story aloud can get students who are fans of Halloween excited about literature. Here are some favorites (opens in new tab) for younger students; and recommendations for older students (opens in new tab).
Research Haunted Houses and Tales in Your Area
Have your students learn how to tell fact from fiction and myth from reality by researching the origins of haunted stories in your area. You can use the free newspaper site Chronicling America (opens in new tab) to trace when these stories first emerged and how each changed over the years.
Make Something Scary
Get your students some hands-on learning fun by having them concoct some spooky recipes. Here’s a recipe for fake blood (opens in new tab) (for decoration). For ghoulish-themed party favors, check out this resource (opens in new tab) with directions for making potions, slime, smoking drinks, and more.
Create a Floating Ghost
Create a floating ghost with tissue paper, a balloon, and the power of electricity by following these instructions (opens in new tab). Crying out, “It’s alive, it’s alive!” afterward is optional.
Conduct a Halloween Themed Science Experiment
The world of the undead may be beyond the comprehension of science but experiments can be the perfect way to get your students in the spirit of Halloween. Little Bins Little Hands (opens in new tab) offers instructions for a variety of free Halloween science-based experiments including a bubbling cauldron and a fun-if-gross puking pumpkin.
Learn About the History of Halloween and Similarities to Other Holidays
Have your students research the history of Halloween on their own or share this story (opens in new tab) from History.com. Then examine the differences between this U.S. holiday and The Day of The Dead (opens in new tab), which is celebrated right after Halloween but is a distinct and more joyful celebration.
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