“As astronauts and space travelers children puzzle over the future; as dinosaurs and princesses they unearth the past … as monsters and gremlins they make sense of the unreal.”- Gretchen Owocki
Tis the season when our learners love to learn from the stuff of our nightmares as they celebrate Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls’ Day and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). We can seize the spirit of this season and explore various topics that generally would be considered taboo or scary. Zombies, monsters, magic, and other frightening things engage learners in history, science, math, language, geography, literature, and culture. Below are tons of resources, activities, apps, games, recipes and resources to get you started. Don’t forget to download the slide presentation below and explore the bookmarks. If you like these ideas then be sure to check out my new book published this summer with more ideas, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom.
Get your copy of my books, The 30 Goals for Teachers or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!
Activities and Resources
- Students can play games with spooky creatures!
- Students can learn with monster themed games, such as Teach Your Monster to Read or Learn English Kids has a fun Monster game!
- Play mobile games that teach math and science like Solve the Outbreak (iOS/Android), Math vs Zombies (iOS/Android), Zombie Physics (iOS), and Halloween Counting & Words Games (iOS). Scroll down for more Halloween apps!
- Students can create games with spooky creatures! Try Hopscotch (students learn coding), TinyTap (iOS/Android), or Scratch MIT.
- Spectro is a virtual reality game to find hidden objects and trap ghosts. Free with your VR headset.
- Create a spooky movie with Dvolver. No registration is required. Warning some of the characters are dressed a little too sexy so I would use this with teens and older.
- Great STEM activity for Halloween! Ghost or Hoax? Students explore the electronic spectrum to decide.
- Find Halloween crosswords, quizzes, and bingo on BogglesWorld.
- Students can try to survive a Zombie apocalypse! Try STEM Hollywood lesson plans, this 2nd/3rd grade lesson, or this one for English Language Learners.
- Skype with classes worldwide:
- Check out the updated Skype for Education to find a speaker or go on a virtual fieldtrip to a haunted place or museum!
- Compare and contrast celebrations that celebrate using costume. A few examples include Fasching in Germany, Carnavale in Brazil, and Dia de Los Muertos in Mexico
- Invite guest experts for students to interview (producer of horror book/films, owner of haunted historic site, ghost forensic expert, haunted house creator, etc.)
- Host a spooky song Karaoke sing off or read Halloween books to each other
- Teach children in another country one of the Halloween traditions like how to Trick or Treat
- Have a class of adolescents or teens read stories about witches, monsters, creatures, and more. Find a few book ideas here for little kids to adults, such as Interview with a Vampire, Frankenstein, Goosebumps, and The Gruffalo.
- Older students can create their own stories (a history about different holidays, a spellbook, or Trick-or-Treat safety) to read to younger children with Bookcreator, LittleBirdTales, Storybird, or Toondoo.
- Create a zombie comic or graphic novel. Try Comic Master or the ComicsHead iOS/Android mobile app.
- Check out the spellbook template on Boggles World.
- Haunted Stories Project- students work in pairs to research different haunted historical places. Students interview people about the place via phone, Skype or Google Hangouts. They collect old news clippings, written accounts, photos, etc. They can create an interactive map with the information using Thinglink or share in a presentation with Tripline, ScribbleMaps, Google Maps, etc. Shadowlands, Dead Files and Ghost Hunters are great resources to find out about haunted places and their histories.
- Create a virtual haunted area on Minecraft or on any other virtual site.
- Create multimedia spooky ghost stories with Audio Boo or Voicethread.
- Create posters or infographics using Piktochart, Easely, Visme, Smores, EduBuncee, Canva, Tackk, or Biteslides.
- The infographics can be about Trick-or-Treat safety. See this example!
- Compare and contrast world celebrations in which people dress up. See this infographic on the history of costumes.
- Share nutrition facts about various treats, etc!
- Students can create magic potions or spells and learn science and math. Find the magic potion pair activity I created here. Find Halloween related cooking recipes here for potions, slime, fake blood, and more.
- Make a horror flick and add special effects these free Android and IOS apps like Quo Movie FX, Creature FX, and Action Movie FX.
- Get students to learn math and science by creating the costumes or creating fake blood and more for the characters.
- Have a day when students get to dress up. You can create a theme like characters from books read during the year, favorite monsters, famous scientists/mathematicians/inventors, etc. Have students act like this character all day- speaking like them and behaviors or give a presentation.
- Draw My Monster, Alien, or Costume- Students can get into pairs, one describes a costume or monster that the other student draws. Try this as a web or mobile activity with Explain Everything or Let’s Learn How to Draw Monsters.
- Monster mindmap. Find the lesson plan here. Try Popplet.
- JibJab has a few free Halloween video templates you can create free till Oct. 25th. Here’s a lesson plan that is free to download and adapt. Here’s the video Rosco and I created!
- Have students work in pairs to plan a Halloween party then use some of the ideas in a class/school/club party.
Challenge: Use one of these resources to get your students celebrating the spooky season and learning.
If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.
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