ESL Halloween Lesson Plan for Adults

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

If your adult learners are learning about holidays, use this lesson to introduce Halloween. Students can use multi-media resources and art to learn about Halloween words, symbols, and activities. Then, the students will play Halloween BINGO and charades.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define Halloween vocabulary words and phrases.
  • Identify Halloween symbols.
  • Describe common Halloween activities and traditions.


1.5-2 hours (plus additional time for the extension activity)


  • Costumes
  • Jack-o-lantern
  • Pumpkin patch
  • Corn maze
  • Haunted House
  • Trick or Treat
  • Happy Halloween


  • Halloween-related objects or pictures
  • Paper
  • Art supplies (markers, colored pencils, etc.)
  • Halloween picture books and poems
  • Various video clips (cartoons, movies, documentaries, etc.) about Halloween and its history.
  • Pictures or objects related to the Halloween vocabulary words and phrases
  • Halloween BINGO cards
  • BINGO chip markers
  • BINGO calling cards
  • Index cards with Halloween activities, words, and phrases written on them
  • Stopwatch


Halloween History/Traditions

  • Show the class a collection of Halloween-related objects or pictures. Have the class discuss the objects and pictures and their knowledge about Halloween. Also, have them identify any questions they have about the holiday. Write down the students' responses for later use.
  • Introduce the holiday of Halloween to the students in one or more of the following ways:
    • Tell the students about the history of Halloween by summarizing the historical information or watching a short video clip on the subject.
    • Read a few short picture books or poems that discuss common Halloween activities and traditions.
    • Show the students video clips about Halloween focusing on Halloween activities, history, and traditions.
  • Discuss the following questions:
    • When is Halloween celebrated?
    • What activities and/or traditions happen on Halloween?
    • Why do children dress up on Halloween?

Halloween Vocabulary and Symbols

  • Provide each student with a piece of blank paper and art supplies. Introduce the Halloween words in the vocabulary/phrases section of this lesson plan and have the students write each word on the paper and draw a picture to help them remember the meaning.
  • Show the students pictures or objects of other common Halloween symbols like bats, skeletons, witches, ghosts, etc. Have them draw these symbols and words on their papers as well.
  • Discuss the following questions:
    • Look at the class responses regarding what you knew about Halloween and what questions you had. Is there any information that we need to correct or clarify? Have we answered all of our questions? If not, make sure to clarify and/or correct any misconceptions and answer questions.
    • Why do people say Trick or Treat?
    • What Halloween activity would you most like to try?
    • Are there any other words or symbols that you have heard or seen around Halloween time?

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