While most of my students are getting excited about Halloween, and their talk has turned to zombies, pumpkins, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and ghouls, I have to admit that I’m more excited than they are. Halloween is my favorite season of the year.
Halloween excitement can challenge any teacher, as they see the rigor and structure they created in the beginning of the year begin to wane. How can you maintain a learning environment without skipping all the scary fun? Here’s what I’m using this year in my own classroom—see what you might want to borrow!
Reading comprehension. Close reading in small group requires multiple readings of a single text over the week. Why not use some seasonal material there? You can provide differentiated reading materials about bats, zombies, pumpkins, and mummies for any age level. After the reading the text in small group, you can use the same text during your writing block.
Foundational skills. Across multiple grades we need to teach the basics of cause and effect, determining vocabulary in context, main idea, and inferences. The same texts that increase fluency in small group build those core skills. Your kids will learn and grow from the practice and become excited when they come to your table.
Writing to texts. Writing to texts has become part of the day-to-day practice in ELA block. As you teach writing, use texts that focus on non-fiction articles about real life zombies, bats, and mummies. Texts can be compared (and compared and contrasted) to provide fundamental writing practice while keeping student interest high.
Math tasks. Engage your students while students build their capacity for solving challenging math tasks with some great Halloween math tasks on Teachers PayTeachers. Teachers always create the best materials for each other.
Cultural diversity. Our students are growing up in a world that exposes them to diversity at every turn. Engage students in rich and complex conversation about human zombies. What kid isn’t at least a little intrigued about a zombie apocalypse or real life zombies, especially at this time of year?
You’ll love the way your students’ brains will grow as you engage and entice them with Halloween-themed sources. You might even attract a few starving zombies to your classroom. They do love big brains!