Halloween is the best “in-school” holiday! Nothing beats fall weather, the colors of the season, and the anticipation of costumes and candy. As a teacher, I’ve found that Halloween drives extraordinary engagement with students. Because of this, I try to maximize the opportunity by adding as many Halloween classroom activities as possible to our reading and writing lessons during October.
A couple years ago, I did a pumpkin activity during our Wonder novel study. I carved one of my own at home for fun, but for the class, you can avoid the mess by either printing out a pumpkin picture or grabbing some mini-pumpkins and have students decorate them with sharpies.
If you are looking for some new ideas to try in your classroom, I’ve got you covered! See below for a handful of reading resources and Halloween activities I have used with my own middle school students over the years.
Read Aloud Idea:
My favorite book for October is The Best Halloween Ever. It is a realistic fiction novel about a group of students who attend Woodrow Wilson School. Due to some bad choices by the Herdman kids, the mayor cancels Halloween festivities for the entire town. The school decides to hold an alternative event, which leads to more potential mischief. Your students will love reading about how the plot unfolds 😉
I love this book so much that I created a novel unit to use with my students. Depending the reading levels of your students, it is a good fit for 4th – 6th graders. The book is just over 100 pages with 13 chapters, so it is formatted well to read aloud over several days. Click the image below if you are interested in the lesson plans to use it in your classroom.
Outdoor Recess Idea:
For outdoor fun, you can get the class outside for an awesome game of “PumKickball!” Clever, huh?! I found these adorable kickballs at Five Below. I don’t see any on Amazon at the time of posting this, but they do have orange playground balls you could have the kids decorate with sharpies.
I knew my students would love the opportunity to have a friendly class competition while burning off some excess energy. Play at recess, take students out for your classroom party, or use the game as an incentive for awesome work ethic or behavior during this last week of the month. Energy burning is the gift that keeps on giving, especially during this sugar-filled time of year, as you know!
Classroom Party Idea:
Looking for an engaging classroom game for your Halloween party? Some of you have read my post about the Saran Wrap Ball game, and it is an easy win for any holiday party. All you need is a couple bags of candy and a roll of plastic wrap to start the fun!
Halloween Reading Idea:
As an ELA teacher, I love to use reader’s theater scripts during holiday periods. I created this Halloween Reader’s Theater and Reading Literature Toolkit based on a collection of stories that were brewing in my head. Your students will love reading about how the students at Parkersburg Elementary convinced the principal to change his perspective on canceling the Halloween celebrations at school by proposing new, thoughtful traditions. You can check out this reading literature resource by clicking on the image below.
Fall Close Reading Passages
Short on time? Grab my Pumpkin Harvesting Informational Text FREEBIE! This is a close reading selection with context clue word work and reader response questions that your students will love to work on independently, in small groups, for homework, or in a literacy center.
I look forward to seeing your Halloween classroom ideas on social media! If you are interested, I also have a full posting of my October ELA favorites here if you need more ideas. In the meantime, Happy Fall, Happy October, and most importantly, Happy Halloween!