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Halloween Lessons That Don’t Use Candy

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 -- Scott Sterling

Problem: Last year for Halloween, you used an activity that involved candy. The teachers who had your students after you didn’t speak to you in faculty meetings for a month.

Solution: Frankly, it’s pretty selfish to load your kids up with candy and then send them to another class. There are plenty of ways to recognize Halloween in class without using sugar.

  • Communal Scary Story
  • Halloween-themed Plot Diagram
  • The Realities of Building Frankenstein’s
  • Make Your Own Monster
  • The Economics of Halloween

Communal Scary Story

This one is popular in English/Language Arts classrooms, but can be used in any discipline by adding some requirements.

Each student gets out a piece of paper and writes down a sentence meant to start a scary story. Then they pass the sheet to another classmate, who adds another line that builds off the previous one, and so on. When everyone has contributed, the students enjoy reading the stories aloud.

Halloween-themed Plot Diagram

Many who want students to be occupied during the big day because they’re wired and excited pop in a movie. Here’s a way to get some educational justification for it. Using the traditional plot diagram that looks like a mountain, have the students track the plot of the movie. Movies that work well include The Nightmare Before Christmas and any classic monster movie that is more funny than scary.

The Realities of Building Frankenstein’s Monster

For advanced anatomy or biology classes, have the students research the obstacles that keep someone from currently building their own version of Frankenstein’s monster. Some good places to start are the advances in transplantation and prosthetics, as well as the challenges these fields still face.

Make Your Own Monster

This activity works for any grade and any discipline. The premise is simple—create your own original monster. The younger students can just draw their monster and describe what it’s like. Older students can go into depth about the monster’s diet, habitat, and anatomy.

The Economics of Halloween

The amount of money spent on Halloween-related products is staggering. Students tend to be disconnected from money issues and lack the number sense to truly visualize large numbers, so researching and graphing the economic figures behind Halloween can be a great way to exercise these skills. Think about having them make an infographic or a Prezi presentation.