David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.
Halloween Reading Activities
Halloween is a fun time for kids everywhere, and there's no need to leave that at home. It's possible for students to learn what they need to in school, while taking part in Halloween themed activities. This is a great way to harness the excitement your kids might be feeling, and put it to practical use. Here are a few ideas for reading-specific Halloween activities.
Halloween Fact or Fiction
There are a lot of ideas about the meaning and history of Halloween floating around, and many of them are not actually true. Since there is a constant push these days for students to read more nonfiction, Halloween is a perfect opportunity to do just that. Provide your students with reading material that discusses the history of Halloween, and its significance to different groups of people. Then students can test their knowledge by completing a truth or fiction worksheet, checking boxes to say whether a particular idea about the history of Halloween is real or made up. Alternatively, you can have groups of students complete presentations about particular facts or myths.
There are a lot of books that would be perfect for Halloween. Practically anything in the genres of horror or thrillers fit perfectly with the holiday, and there are books appropriate for all ages. You could use it as an opportunity to study a classic like Frankenstein, or you could introduce fun favorites like the Harry Potter series. If you pick the book carefully, and find something truly exciting, you might see your students exhibit far more interest in reading than perhaps they normally do.
There are certain words and techniques that writers of horror and thriller books employ to keep their readers in suspense. One reading activity you can complete is to have students search books in these genres for particular adjectives, verbs, or techniques that create an atmosphere of suspense in the work. Depending on the ages of the students, this might require quite a bit of prior knowledge or prep work, but it has the potential to change the way students look at writing and stories, something that will carry through long beyond the end of Halloween.
Halloween is a time when students dress up and go trick-or-treating. We can bring this theme into the classroom and wrap it up in the subject of reading by having students create a mask, or costume, for one of their favorite literary characters.
It's up to you how much flexibility you allow with this activity. Students can pick any literary character, or they can focus on characters that are found in Halloween themed books. Either way, students will not only get to delve into those books to find character descriptions, and make the most authentic mask and/or costume they can, but it gives the opportunity for students to act out the roles of those characters, and get a little bit deeper into the characterization in their favorite books. For example, you could throw a mini Halloween party, where the only rule is that students must stay in character.
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