Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with some educational and fun Halloween activities for your elementary students? Throwing a Halloween party is definitely fun. But, the candy, costumes, and exhaustion normally associated with Halloween is A Lot. Wouldn’t it be nice to have students learning while still enjoying a holiday that normally runs teachers into the ground? What if I told you that you could incorporate Halloween into your ELA block? Let’s talk about some of the treats and tricks to keep your students learning (even on a sugar high) and explore creative ways to infuse learning into the spooky season.
How to Make Halloween Activities Educational and Fun
Creating a captivating and educational Halloween experience for your students is easier than you think. By bringing in a touch of spooky spirit and including skills students have learned, you can create an environment where learning still happens, even with the excitement of Halloween. Here are some ways to learn and enjoy Halloween at the same time.
Embrace the Spooky Spirit
Transform your classroom into a Halloween wonderland! Decorate with black construction paper spider webs, tissue paper ghosts, and plastic spiders crawling up the walls. Engaging visuals creates an immersive learning environment that sparks curiosity.
Incorporate Classroom Management
Maintain a structured atmosphere even during the Halloween excitement. Set clear expectations for behavior and participation. Consider a “Halloween Points” system to reward positive behavior, making it a win-win for both learning and having fun.
Infuse Learning into Crafts
Craft activities like making candy corn garlands or pumpkin paper plate masks are great opportunities to discuss shapes, patterns, and measurements. Obviously, with upper elementary, you can add angles, circumference, volume, etc. Use these moments to sneak in a little math!
Ways to Ensure Students Are Learning with Halloween Activities
While the allure of Halloween activities is undeniable, ensuring valuable learning takes place is important. Through assessment, collaboration, and reflection, you can guarantee that your students are not only having fun but also absorbing key concepts.
After each activity, take a moment to gauge student comprehension. This can be done through group discussions, one-on-one check-ins, or even through a simple exit ticket. It ensures that the learning objectives are met.
Encourage teamwork by incorporating group activities. Whether it’s creating a spooky story together or solving Halloween-themed math problems, collaborative efforts enhance social skills while reinforcing learning.
Reflect and Apply
At the end of each activity, have students reflect on what they’ve learned and discuss real-world applications. This reinforces the relevance of the lesson and helps solidify their understanding.
3 Fun Halloween Activities for Your ELA Block
Now, after seeing the benefits and value that Halloween activities can bring to your ELA block, you’re probably wondering what some of these activities could be! The best part about the activities below is they seamlessly blend the excitement of the holiday with essential language arts skills, creating a memorable learning experience for your students.
Color by Number Reading Comprehension
Provide students with a Halloween-themed coloring page that corresponds with a reading passage. As they read and comprehend, they can color in specific sections. This combines art, reading, and comprehension into one engaging activity. With fun pictures of Frankenstein, bats, or candy corn, allowing students to practice reading comprehension and color at the same time is simple and educational. You can also use this type of strategy with parts of speech!
Close Reading Halloween Edition
Select a spooky story or poem and guide students through a close reading session. Encourage them to annotate, ask questions, and discuss the text. This activity promotes deeper comprehension and critical thinking. Including close reading passages that incorporate all things October is a great way to bring ELA and the fall/Halloween into your reading block.
Halloween Reading Comprehension Passages
When you are working with students during Halloween time, you often need to have materials that will catch their eye and keep their interest. Consider offering a selection of grade-appropriate high-interest Halloween-themed reading passages. Afterward, engage students with thought-provoking questions to assess their comprehension and analytical skills.
The Value of English Language Arts in Halloween Activities
English Language Arts (ELA) is a powerful tool for enhancing Halloween activities for elementary students. By integrating ELA into the spooky season, educators can tap into many benefits beyond the surface level. Here’s why incorporating ELA is good and essential for making Halloween activities a rich and meaningful learning experience.
Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills: ELA activities help with critical thinking by encouraging students to analyze, interpret, and evaluate text. This skill set is invaluable when it comes to understanding complex themes often found in Halloween literature or stories.
Language Development: Halloween activities infused with ELA provide opportunities for students to expand their vocabulary, improve language comprehension, and enhance communication skills. These skills are crucial for effective expression and interpretation in both written and verbal forms.
Cultural Appreciation and Awareness: Many Halloween stories and traditions have deep cultural roots. Engaging with these through ELA activities allows students to understand better the diverse backgrounds and histories that contribute to the holiday.
Empathy and Perspective-Taking: ELA often involves reading about characters with different experiences or perspectives. This fosters empathy and helps students understand diverse viewpoints, which can be particularly valuable when exploring themes related to fear, mystery, or the supernatural.
Creativity and Imagination: ELA encourages students to unleash their creativity and imagination through writing, storytelling, and literary analysis. Halloween’s fantastical themes provide a perfect canvas for students to explore their imaginative capacities.
By incorporating English Language Arts into Halloween activities, teachers engage students with the holiday festivities and provide a holistic learning experience that cultivates essential academic and personal growth skills.
With these creative Halloween activities, you can turn your classroom into a spook-tacular learning zone. From crafting with black construction paper and googly eyes to diving deep into Halloween-themed ELA activities, there’s something for every student to enjoy. So, let the learning and fun begin! Happy Halloween!