Spooky season has arrived, and it is time to share 8 fun Halloween activities you’re going to want to use this Halloween season. Transform your middle and high school classrooms into Halloween hubs of excitement with this list of 8 fun Halloween activities.
As the autumn leaves fall and the chill of October sets in, there’s no better time to infuse a bit of Halloween magic into your schedule. No matter the age, no student is immune to having some Halloween fun – especially when you think out of the box!
Laura from Write and Read and Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog have teamed up to share our top 8 ways to make English class fun this season with some spooky Halloween activities.
8 Halloween Activities
Use digital escape rooms. (Kristy)
Digital escape rooms are fun at any time of the year, but they can be especially fun during a holiday season like Halloween. Not all Halloween activities – or seasonal activities, for that matter – have to be serious and curriculum-based. Sometimes, activities can just be fun!
Have you ever been in a real escape room where they lock you in a room with a set time to solve all the clues to find your way out? A digital escape room provides a similar experience where students can work independently or with a classmate to solve digital clues to “escape” from the virtual room they have been locked into.
To play these types of games, students usually just need a Chromebook or other type of device. So, look for some Halloween digital escape rooms for your students to play as a way to celebrate the season.
Want to know more? Read Why Use Digital Escape Rooms in Middle School?
Go on an adventure. (Laura)
Halloween activities wouldn’t be complete without some spooky Halloween reading. If you’re reading scary stories with your class, make the experience memorable and take your class on an adventure. Think about eerie places in your building. Does your school have a basement, empty wing, or large storage closet? Find a dark, eerie place to read by candlelight – or even by flashlight. It will be a day your students will never forget.
If you need inspiration for scary texts, read 7 Scary Short Stories to Read on Halloween in Secondary ELA.
Make it more about mysteries than the actual one-day holiday. (Kristy)
When you think about Halloween activities, you might only picture activities that are done during the actual day of Halloween. However, there is plenty of opportunity to spread out the fun over a few weeks.
You can extend the spooky season if you make it more about mysteries than just Halloween or if you add more mystery elements to the month instead of only the traditional and stereotypical Halloween activities.
I usually only integrate Halloween into lessons during the actual week that Halloween occurs or the week leading up to it. You can make the entire month of October special by having students learn about common mysteries like the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, the mysterious D.B. Cooper who “skyjacked” an airplane, or Oak Island, the Nova Scotian island many believe to hold treasure that has yet to be found.
Try a true crime podcast. (Laura)
So many people these days are fascinated with true crime, and some cases prove to be more mysterious than others. Why not incorporate some true crime elements into your teaching with some true crime podcasts?
Podcasts can be great resources to help students practice their listening and notetaking skills, and true crime podcasts ensure engagement. Listening and notetaking skills are incredibly important for stories with lots of twists and suspects. The case of Adnan Syed on the Serial podcast is the perfect place to start.
Wear a fun costume or a themed shirt to make the day special. (Kristy)
Students love to see their teachers doing things that are fun and special. If your school allows, wear a great costume on Halloween. Some of the Halloween costumes I have worn at school are the tooth fairy, Rainbow Brite, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
If you want some school-appropriate costume ideas to wear during your Halloween activities that do not break the bank (and will seriously impress your students), check out these two lists:
Write collaborative scary stories. (Laura)
Just like reading, no Halloween activities would be complete without some creative writing. If you want to challenge your students, have them write collaborative scary stories. You can even combine this with your spooky reading adventure mentioned earlier and have students read their stories by flashlight once they’re finished.
To try this Halloween activity, break students into small groups and have them move their desks into a circle. Set a timer for five minutes and have students write the beginning of a scary story. When the timer goes off, have everyone pass their story to the left, and students will continue the story handed to them. Set the timer again and repeat the process a few more times. Then, you can share the stories with the class.
If you want more creepy creative writing ideas, read this blog post: 4 Halloween Creative Writing Activities for Middle and High School.
Plan fun alternative activities for those who do not or are not allowed to celebrate this holiday. (Kristy)
Even though we love to create fun Halloween activities – as well as other seasonal activities – in our classrooms, it is important to remember that not every student celebrates or is permitted to learn about this holiday or even other holidays common in the classroom.
Check in with your students ahead of planning these activities to ensure an alternate activity does not need to be planned. You might even have students who are wary of spooky or scary things, so take care when planning and be aware of the needs of your students.
If you need to plan an alternative activity, see if they can learn about mysteries. If so, plan to have them learn about one of the mysteries outlined in this blog post. They can also listen to podcasts or write their own stories on topics that interest them.
Download one of these free lessons that can be used in lieu of a Halloween activity.
Illustrate a scary story using its imagery. (Laura)
If your students are reading a spooky story, creating illustrations to match is a fun activity to try. It’s a great opportunity to incorporate art into your Halloween ELA lesson as well.
Have students pick one scene from the story and reread it, looking closely at the imagery and figurative language. The vivid descriptions they find will help them draw a picture to match. They can even write a paragraph explaining how the imagery in the text influenced their pictures.
If you need help finding a story with vivid imagery, you can grab this free story unit for “The Most Dangerous Game.”
More Halloween Activities Fun
Check out this blog post, Middle School Halloween Activities: Fun and Spooky Ideas for a Memorable Celebration, for more ideas on how to make this an enjoyable season.
Halloween activities are not just for younger students. Students of all ages like to have something special infused into their lessons. Reach out to us on Instagram and let us know which of these Halloween activities you want to try with your students this year and let us know what Halloween activities you like to do with your students during this time of year.
About The Authors
Laura taught English/Language Arts for 17 years in a Title I district in the Midwest. She taught at both the middle school and high school levels, and she’s also a certified library/media specialist. She loves creating fun, engaging ELA activities for students without sacrificing rigour. On her blog, Write and Read, she shares lesson plans, book recommendations, and teaching tips. Her secondary ELA resources are shared on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Kristy has taught ELA and other subjects to middle school students for over 16 years in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada. She is guilty of always having a book in her hand – even at the dinner table! She writes the blog 2 Peas and a Dog and shares her education resources for middle school teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers.