Halloween Poetry Writing Activities

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

The activities offered here use Halloween themes to encourage your students to explore poetry composition. Multiple styles of poetry are explored by all ages in these collaborative activities.

Poetry for Halloween

It is fun to use seasonal holidays to motivate students in the classroom. Halloween is an interesting holiday to bring into the classroom because you can focus on typical fall items as well as traditional Halloween symbols.

The activities offered here can be adjusted for any age group. They are designed to engage your students in poetry composition in fun and active ways. The theme of the activities relates to Halloween.

Concrete Poetry

Writing in shapes is a fun way to get students focused on the topic of a poem.


  • Outlines of typical Halloween symbols (like Jack-o-lanterns or ghosts)
  • Example of a concrete poem


  • Conduct a class discussion on concrete poetry, or poems written in the shape of the main topic.
  • Show an example if necessary.
  • Divide your students into small groups.
  • Depending on the skill level of your students:
    • Give each group an outline and ask them to compose a poem based on that topic.
    • Allow each group to decide on a topic and compose a concrete poem based on their topic.
  • Allow time for the groups to share their work with the class.
    • For groups that decided on their own topic, ask them to identify the shape of their poem prior to reading it to the class.


  • Instruct all your students to compose concrete poems about pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns.
    • When sharing the poems with the class, point out how different they are from each other even though they are all on the same topic.


Free-verse poetry can be really powerful. This activity allows your students to experiment with free-verse poetry.


  • Two to four large pieces of paper (butcher paper or art paper)
    • Alternatively, you can use whiteboard space if enough is available
  • Index cards


  • Divide your class into two to four groups (depending on how much space you have for your students to work).
  • Give each student an index card.
  • Ask the groups to brainstorm words that represent Halloween.
    • Groups should attempt to keep their words secret from other groups.
    • Each card should have one word written on it.
  • When the groups have finished writing words on their cards, ask the groups to swap sets of words with each other.
  • Now, each group needs to create a free-verse poem on the board using the words in the set of cards.
    • Instruct the groups to use as few filler words as possible; the focus should be on arranging the words in such a way that they make sense in free-verse.
  • When sharing their work, have the groups first share the list of words they were given before reading the poem composed from the words.

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