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It’s Halloween!
posted by: Jill | October 27, 2010, 02:51 PM   

Lurking in teachers' file cabinets for an entire year, the Halloween lesson plan only emerges for one or two classes each October–and yet, these lessons are often some of the most beloved lessons of the school year.

My Halloween lesson plan for 7th grade language arts was one of my favorites because the students would get so creative. It involved my favorite Halloween book from middle school, Scary Stories. It has short stories that are mini-thrillers (it's also a controversial book so watch out). Students loved "The Hook" the most—every year it was the hands-down favorite (pun intended).

Because students were enthralled with the story, it was rather easy to teach them about any aspect of plot and use the story as the example. One year we were just beginning plot structure so I helped them map out the plot of the story on a plot diagram. For students who were already quite familiar with plot I used the story to invite them to write their own Halloween tale and create a plot diagram of their story. For a class that struggled with the concept of plot, I adjusted the lesson by providing excerpts of the story and students choose in which part of the plot diagram the excerpt belonged—the introduction, the rising action, and the resolution.

This week I decided to gather a couple of sites that offer Halloween-related lessons and tips. Many thanks to all the websites and bloggers out there who have already taken the time to compile many lessons.

  • Melissa Kelly at has a few Halloween ideas that cover a wide variety of classes.
  • Google was so nice to compile this list of famous scary stories/novels (some are free to download!).
  • Rethink Autism has a few tips to help younger kids deal with the costumes, vocabulary, routines surrounding Halloween.
  • A potpourri of plans can be found on the LessonPlansPage at HotChalk.
  • I really like the tiered explanation on the history of Halloween found at 42eXplore. And there are a good number of Halloween resources too.
I know that some schools, districts, teachers, parents are not supportive of Halloween/ "scary" activities. If this is the case, there are plenty of autumn-themed activities to search.

Please, take a moment to share what you do for your Halloween/ autumn lesson plan.

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