It’s almost time for the spookiest holiday of the year, Halloween! On Thursday, October 31st, many children will dress up in costumes and go out trick-or-treating for candy. People of all ages love this holiday, and teachers can maximize on the fun by doing fun Halloween activities in class all week long.
Intermediate – Try Halloween (int) in the Holidays section. This lesson includes a reading on Halloween, comprehension questions, vocabulary exercises, idioms, instructions on how to carve a jack-o’-lantern, a pair work activity, and a speaking activity.
Beginner – For beginner-level students, try Halloween (beg), also in our Holidays section. This lesson includes vocabulary, a reading on Halloween, comprehension questions, a word jumble, a word search, a speaking activity, and a writing activity.
Pumpkin Carving – This was always a popular activity at my old school. Many English learners don’t celebrate Halloween in their countries, and students of all ages enjoy carving a pumpkin for the first time! Get your whole school involved and have a contest to see which team’s pumpkin gets the most votes. Pass around the Halloween candy, with extra going to the winners!
Costume Contest – Like the pumpkin carving, many students from other cultures haven’t ever experienced dressing up for Halloween. When everyone comes to school dressed up on the 31st, just try and stop the cameras from snapping shot after shot! (My old school took great pictures every Halloween to use in our promotional materials.) Give your learners ideas for costumes they can make themselves, such as using an old sheet for a ghost or using black construction paper to make a witch’s hat or cat ears. At my old school, we assigned a number to all the people in costume. The teachers voted on the top 10 or 20 best-dressed students. Then those students performed a fashion show on a “runway” in front of the school, and their classmates voted on their favorite costume. Our costume fashion show was always a big hit with students!
Flashcards – We’ve got a good collection of Halloween flashcards. There are so many ways to use flashcards: for vocabulary practice, for games, etc. Tara Benwell has outlined six creative ideas in her blog post Flashcards for Halloween Activities and Games.
Halloween Spelling – Use this holiday as a chance to review some tricky vocabulary with your students. Words include witch/which, costume/custom, jack-o’-lantern, etc.
Draw and Describe: Monsters – Our head writer Tara Benwell suggests this fun activity that allows students to practice their speaking and listening skills by drawing and reproducing monsters. Having students explain something really makes them focus on clarity in their speaking. And they’ll have fun, too!
It’s Monstrous! 4 Themes & 20+ Activities Kids Will Love you Explored This Halloween – Our popular guest blogger Shelly Terrell offers a lot of resources on Halloween in four different themes: magic, monsters, zombies, and ghosts. These activities are aimed at kids, but many can be used with teens and adults, too.
Magic Mayhem! 10+ Ideas & Resources to Motivate Using Magic – In this blog post, Shelly Terrell lists many magical activities to make learning exciting.
10+ Wicked Web 2.0 Activities for Halloween – Using tech in the classroom has never been more fun! Shelly Terrell has four great ideas for Halloween activities using the Web.
Frankenstein Day – October 25th – Even though this holiday was last week, you can still use our lesson plan on Frankenstein, the world’s most famous monster! Make it more meaningful by first checking out Tara Benwell’s post A Writing Contest for Frankenstein Day. You can easily change it to a writing contest for Halloween. Tara includes an audio clip that students can listen to on the history of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Then students can write their own ghost stories, and you can print out a premade certificate for the winner right from the blog post!