“There is magic, but you have to be the magician. You have to make the magic happen.” – Sidney Sheldon, Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Tis the season when our learners love to learn from 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.
Tips 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), Monster Physics (iOS), 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.
- Create a Halloween board game with this template.
- 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/Google HangOut 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, Toondoo, or Zooburst.
- 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 posters or infographics using Piktochart, Easely, Visme, Smores, EduBuncee, Canva, Tackk, or Biteslides.
- 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.
- Animoto has free Halloween themed video frames– You can have students create a scene for a haunted movie flick. Tell students they will work in pairs to come up with the next monster kid’s movie. They have to create a video trailer to show producers.
- 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 Educreations or Let’s Learn How to Draw Monsters.
- 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.
Fun Halloween Apps
- Make a Zombie (iOS/Android)- Students create zombies and choose from various backgrounds, bodies, clothes, eyes, hairstyles, heads, pair of legs and mouths. A follow-up task includes having students get into pairs. Student A describes the zombie created. Student B must try to recreate the zombie by the verbal description. Make sure the students save the zombie to their photo library to compare. You can also have your students create stories about their zombies and read them in a circle aloud.
- Horror Fingers (iOS)- Dress your fingers! Create finger chants and make them sing/talk with apps like YakIt for Kids or Chatterpix Kids.
- Halloween Card Creator (iOS/Android)- Kids create ecards with various choices in backgrounds, characters, and their own images and text. Have the students e-mail the e-cards to friends of family members.
- Halloween Origami (iOS/Android)- With this great app, kids learn to create various spooky creatures in origami. Kids can watch videos after seeing the step-by-step instructions.
- Carve A Pumpkin (iOS/Android)- With this great app from Parents magazine, kids create a jack-o-lantern that lights up after it is carved. Kids can even add spooky stickers to their pumpkin. There are various pumpkins to choose from and backgrounds. Have the students e-mail the e-cards to friends of family members. A follow-up task includes having students get into pairs. Student A describes the pumpkin created. Student B must try to recreate the pumpkin by the verbal description. Make sure the students save the pumpkin to their photo library to compare. You can also have students try to carve their pumpkins in real life after the drawing.
- Talking Skeleton (iOS/Android)- Like the famous Talking Tom app, kids speak and an animated skeleton repeats their words in a funny voice. Their messages can be recorded through video and sent to parents in an email. Have the students send Halloween greetings to their families or friends or create a video of them doing a Halloween rap.
- WordSearch Halloween (iOS/Android)- This app provides several word searches. These are divided in levels from easy to difficult. Listen to scary music or your own while you play. There are over 200 puzzles under 3 categories- Halloween, costumes, and treats. This app would be great to encourage students to learn vocabulary then use in a story or poem.
- Haunted Hangman (iOS/Android)- Guess the Halloween word and get a pumpkin with treats. If you lose the pumpkin is carved then becomes sad.
- Mash-o-Ween (iOS/Android)- This app is for teens. It is based on a famous game that I played in my teens before mobile devices were mainstream. Teens type in various options for categories and at the end this app tells their future. Have the students work in pairs then after read the fortune to each other. Some of these deal with romance, costumes, and more.
- Landon’s Pumpkins (iOS)- This book has several features to help kids follow along the story and learn vocabulary. At the end a recipe is given for Roasted Pumpkin seeds, which would be a great reward for a teacher to make with a class after reading a story. Find more free Read Smart stories to support literacy here!
- MouthOff Lite (iOS/Android)- Kids choose between various silly mouths and hold the device to their mouth while they talk. Students can create vocabulary raps or tell spooky stories.
- ScrapPad Halloween (iOS)- Kids create a scrapbook with various creatures, words, and their own images. Have the students write stories to accompany their books. They can even work in pairs. They can email the scrapbooks to their parents or friends or post on Facebook.
- Halloween Voice Transformer (iOS/Android)- Only the reaper voice is free, but kids speak into the mic and record their message which then is played back in a spooky voice. Thanks to Tara Benwell for recommending this app and sending me a spooky message in my email!
- 12+ Free Halloween Educational Apps
- 10+ Wicked Web 2.0 Activities for Halloween
- Horror-fied! 20+ Ideas and Resources for Halloween
- Halloween Activities for Young Learners Webinar Recording