History of Halloween Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Teach your students about the origins of Halloween with the help of a Study.com text lesson and an in-class activity. If you would like, take your Halloween history instruction even further with optional activities and related lessons.

Learning Objectives:

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

  • outline the origins of Halloween
  • explain Christianity's influence on modern Halloween traditions
  • compare and contrast the Halloween celebrations of different countries


30 minutes to 1 hour


  • Yarn
  • Construction paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Markers

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


  • Begin by asking students to brainstorm words associated with Halloween. Write them on the board.
  • Now have students read the introduction, Trick or Treat! and The Ancient Celtic Origins of Halloween sections of the Study.com text lesson History of Halloween: Facts & Traditions.
  • Ask students to consider the practices of the Celtic people. Do any of the words they brainstormed relate back to the Celtic celebration of Halloween? What types of pranks and costumes would students use today to try to distract the spirits?
  • Have the students read the remainder of the text lesson.


  • Have students create animal-shaped lanterns, just as the Chinese do to celebrate Halloween, using the arts and crafts materials listed above. Students should design their lanterns with the idea of guiding spirits home, as the Chinese do with their lanterns.
  • Hang the lanterns throughout the classroom for a new take on Halloween decorations.


  • Have a costume party with the Celtic tradition of mimicking ghosts as the inspiration.
  • Research some newer Halloween activities, such as booing neighbors. How did they originate? Can they be tied back to the earliest Halloween celebrations?

Related Lessons

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