“Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story.” ~Mason Cooley
Teachers worldwide will introduce children to Halloween culture and traditions this year. Halloween is one of those holidays that children love to learn about even if it is not practiced in their countries because they get to dress up in costumes and eat candy. Even if you do not teach Halloween, the following activities are fun for children and help spark their creativity.
A Few Wicked Web 2.0 Activities
Below is a list of websites and apps and ideas on how to integrate them with your students.
The Skeleton Dance
Skeleton Dance– Your students upload their photos and their friends photos to be included in this video staring them as dancing skeletons. Your students will love doing this and posting on Facebook or emailing to others or their friends. Follow up this activity by doing any of these writing activities.
- Have students use their imagination and write a story stating how and where they took this video.
- Divide your students into pairs or small groups and have them write a dialogue about the events leading to this video. They can write down the setting, character descriptions, and dialogue. You can use this worksheet as a framework.
- Divide your students into pairs or small groups and have them write a plan for a Halloween party they are throwing together. This will be the main entertainment. For an added bonus pick one of the ideas or a few to incorporate in a class/club/school Halloween party.
- Divide your students into small groups and have them create a play in which this would be one of the main scenes.
Jokes can be cultural, but they are a great way to study vocabulary and how words can mean something entirely different in various contexts. Activity Village has a list of free kid-friendly jokes and various ways to print them out and use them in class. Here are a few more ideas.
- Divide students in pairs. Have them pick out 2 to 3 jokes they memorize from the list and retell in front of their peers.
- Print the jokes and cut the paper into strips with each joke listed and it’s punchline on a different strip. Walk around and have students pull out a strip. They must go around the room and try to determine which punchline goes with what joke. Have them sit together when they think they find their match. After gather as a class and have each pair tell their joke to check if they actually found the right match.
- Have students pick out 2 to 3 jokes they memorize from the list. Then play the game mingle. Students are in pairs and are given 30 seconds to a minute to tell their jokes to their peers. You then blow the whistle and they must tell their joke to a different student.
- Divide students in pairs. Have students pick out 2 to 3 jokes they memorize from the list. Have them use the following free sites to have their characters retell the joke. They can use ZimmerTwins, GoAnimate, MakeBeliefs Comix, and Xtranormal. If you want them to use their mobile devices, then try these free dialogue apps- Sockpuppets, PuppetPals, or Talking Ben and Tom News Reporter.
- Have students create their own Halloween jokes in response to these and share them with the class.
Students often love to listen to and create their own spooky stories. It’s a great way to learn English and be creative. For older students, have them create stories they will read to younger students or their children. Teenagers love reading stories to younger children and the younger children love it as well. These sites will help inspire students with their stories.
- I love the Digital ELT Play site which is filled with great Halloween story games where students walkthrough the story and complete tasks. You can find a great free lesson plan provided for each game for various levels and ages. Here is a list of their top 10 Halloween lesson plans that incorporate games.
- Use a site like Shadowlands to discover haunted places in your area or other places. Have students choose one of the haunted places to research for a writing project. They can retell the story with audio and visuals using Animoto, Capzles, Fotobabble, or Stupeflix. Have them use a Google Map to tell the story and mark the locations by time and event. These are great tools to do that: Meograph, ScribbleMaps, or Tripline.
- Many of the stories at Moonlit Road have audio and visuals to go along with them. You can create entire lesson plans based on any of these.
- Have students use these story prompts sites to create their own Halloween stories: Writing Prompts for Halloween, or Spooky Story Prompts.
- Have students create Halloween stories using Storybird or Zooburst.
- Create a class spook story on the free BoomWriter site.
- Halloween ebook app for i-devices– This ebook incorporates students’ uploaded photos so they get a personal touch with the story.
Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween, your students will enjoy pumpkin carving. It was one of the favorite activities my students of all ages did in Germany. Here are a few online carving sites and games that teach words as well.
- Carve a Pumpkin Online for young kids
- Carve a Pumpkin app– With this great app from Parents magazine, kids create a jack-o-lantern that lights up after it is carved. Kids can 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.
- Pumpkin carving Starfall site for small kids that also teaches them pronunciation
More Great Websites and Resources
You can find more ideas in these posts:
- Horrified! 20+ Halloween Ideas and Activities
- 18 Educational Apps for Halloween
- Tons of Halloween printables, crafts, and games
- Tons of Halloween games for kids to play in class or for a party
What other ideas do you have?
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