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Four ELA Halloween Activities: Fun & Easy!

Spooky and fun Halloween Activities for your English Language Arts classroom! Includes descriptive writing, scary sentence starters, reading, writing, analyzing poetry and so much more!

With temps in the 90's this week where we live, it's hard to believe today is the first day of October! And you know what that means - Halloween is JUST around the corner! Our wheels are already turning thinking about what kinds of fun Halloween-related activities we can do with our students. Today, we're sharing four ELA Halloween Activities we've done with our kiddos (ranging from 4th through 12th grades!) during the month of October that are fun and still Common Core aligned!



1. Read aloud The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Can Allsburg (affiliate link).
Quick summary of the story: A mysterious author created several intriguing captions to accompany his brilliantly detailed illustrations. Upon showing them to a publisher, who praised his work, he disappeared, never to be heard from again! 

What to do with your kids: Photocopy the illustrations and captions, assign them to a student (or set of partners), and have them create the story they imagine goes with their picture - we like to have our students include the caption somewhere in the story. For some added fun, turn off the lights, sit in a circle, and read the stories aloud, campfire style!

While not necessarily ghost stories, these illustrations do tend to lend themselves to some spooky creations! We created a great rubric to go along with this activity, which you can download for FREE by CLICKING HERE.


2. Use a Scary Sentence Starters Activity and a fun Halloween Word Search! 
Halloween is on a Monday this year (yikes!), so we totally get that we're going to have to figure out a way to maintain a sense of routine in our classrooms, otherwise the whole day could get out of hand! But let's be honest, we don't want to be that teacher, so we want to find a way for our students to have some fun. In the past we've used a Halloween Word Search and Scary Sentence Starters to keep the fun in our classroom and incorporate some academia without our students even knowing! (These two resources are FREE by CLICKING HERE) Our kiddos have definitely enjoyed these activities in the past - the word search worked really well to keep our middle schoolers occupied as treats were passed out for the class party :) (see what we did there?).



3. Teach poetry using Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee."
Let's be real here. Who doesn't love how creepy and spooky Edgar Allan Poe is? He is pretty much the epitome of the perfect Halloween writer! We put together a super engaging unit focused on two of his poems, "The Raven" (which we looooove) and "Annabel Lee." We usually start this unit about two weeks before Halloween starts and end either right before or right after the holiday (depending on the pacing in our classroom). Basically, it's a great way to get our students analyzing poetry and then creating their own scary stories and poems based on these two poems. You can check out this resource here.


4. Do a fun descriptive writing project that is centered around Halloween. 
Descriptive writing activities are fun in their own right. But a spooky, Halloween one is so much fun! This is the first time we introduce descriptive writing to our students (up to this point, we've been heavily entrenched in persuasive writing), and they LOVE this activity! Essentially, students use narrative techniques (establishing a point of view, writing relevant details, specific words and phrases, and figurative and sensory language - hello, Common Core!) to describe a Halloween object or character (think Zombie, Black Cat, Pumpkin, etc.). Students also get to create an illustration for their object/character, and it makes for the cutest Halloween Bulletin Board! (Don't worry, we'll share ours with you once Halloween gets a bit closer!)


That's it! Hopefully some of these activities and resources will be useful for you with your students! What are some of the fun Halloween things you do in your classroom? We'd love to know!


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Spooky and fun Halloween Activities for your English Language Arts classroom! Includes descriptive writing, scary sentence starters, reading, writing, analyzing poetry and so much more!

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