Unforgettable Halloween Activities that will Spook Your StudentsHalloween is a very popular holiday in the United States. There is something special about the crisp fall temperatures, pumpkins, and fun Halloween activities. During the fall, pumpkin-themed activities and spooky decorations crop up on classroom windows and doors a little earlier every year. The pull of dressing up, having fun with friends, and the prospect of eating candy excites us all.
According to statista.com, lots of people celebrate Halloween every year. Due to COVID over the past few years, participation in some kind of Halloween activities in 2020 dropped to 58% but rebounded to 65% for 2021. Over the past 5 years before the pandemic, reported participation was between 64-71%.
What is Halloween?Most of us have heard of Halloween and know that it is a holiday celebrated on October 31st in many countries across the world. It is usually celebrated by dressing up in costume and saying “Trick-or-Treat” door to door to collect candy. Why do we celebrate Halloween, and where did the holiday originate?
The beginnings of Halloween activities date back to the Celtic festival of Samhain.
The people celebrated by lighting bonfires and dressing in costumes to ward off ghosts. The ancient Celtic people lived in what is now Ireland, Scotland, England, and Northern France. October 31st was the end of their year and symbolized the end of summer and the harvest before the New Year began on November 1st. They believed that during the festival, the boundaries between the lands of the living and the dead blurred, and ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Some for good and some for bad reasons. The Celtic people believed that some spirits caused havoc on the crops, but others helped the priests to predict the future better.
How can I incorporate Halloween activities into my classroom?
Incorporate Halloween into your everyday classroom learning skills. With the Halloween Around the World Digital Reading Passage and Questions, your students will read and answer comprehension questions while learning about different Halloween traditions worldwide.
The Halloween Around the World Digital Scavenger Hunt allows students to move around the classroom while learning about the history and traditions of Halloween. This is a great one to get students out of their seats and moving while learning.
If you’re looking for something that will allow your students to guide their own learning and work together with classmates to learn more about history through Halloween activities, I would recommend these resources! The Halloween Around the World CSI Spy Mystery, the Halloween Around the World Text Marking Detective, and the Halloween Around the World Secret Message Activity are perfect for providing a new spin on learning and having fun simultaneously.
Read Halloween BooksAny day is a great day to read a book. Reading Halloween-themed books to celebrate Halloween is a great opportunity to help develop a love of reading in your students. There are so many options for Halloween books, but some of my favorites include:
The Night Before Halloween by Natasha Wing celebrates little monsters and ghosts and what they do in preparation for their favorite holiday: Halloween.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaman is a good paperback to read leading up to the week of Halloween with your tween students. A boy raised by ghosts near a graveyard is a bit spooky but perfect for Halloween.
Weird But True Halloween: 300 Spooky Facts to Scare You Silly by Julie Beer will shock and amaze your students with true but spooky facts about Halloween. This book is fun to read a few facts from every day and allows students to take turns perusing during personal reading time.
Halloween Seat Work Activities
While you’re reading Halloween books to your classroom, it is always a good idea for them to be busy with their hands. You are in luck because I have some great resources for you to use in your classroom when you don’t need or want a lot of chit-chat from the class. The Halloween Color by Number activity is fun and easy to color while listening.
I would also recommend Halloween Boxes to color and assemble, the Halloween Accordion Book, and the Halloween Color by Number Would You Rather activity. All of these Halloween activities will keep your students entertained while you are reading, for early finishers, or for a quiet and restful time of the day.
Halloween Escape Rooms
I saved the best for last. Halloween Escape Rooms are such a fun choice of Halloween activities. Whether you are looking for a Google Classroom compatible Halloween escape room or a printable escape room you can set up in the classroom, I’ve got you covered with these great Halloween Escape Rooms. In each escape room, your students will read and learn about Halloween and then use that knowledge to solve puzzles to complete the escape room activities.