Trick or teaching: bringing the classroom alive

With Halloween only a few days away, it’s not long before a herd of ghosts, vampires, monsters and witches will land on your doorstep wailing, ‘trick or treat?!’ While there are lots of spooky activities set for the weekend, there’s still time to incorporate the tradition into fun classroom activities.

With lessons limited to certain time scales, mixed with sometimes very dry learning objectives, both students and teachers can often become disengaged with a subject. With this in mind, it’s important to provide teachers with opportunities to bring learning to life, allowing students to explore their curiosities and think more creatively.

We decided to share our favourite Halloween-themed activities and ideas to help bring lesson ideas back from the dead:

Halloween classroom decorationsSetting the scream: Why not dress up as Dracula, Frankenstein or a witch and really get pupils in the Halloween spirit? Go one step further and decorate the classroom with spider’s webs, bats, cauldrons and broomsticks – this will get the children engaged from the beginning of the day. Take a look at Pinterest for DIY ideas on how to transform the room.

Spooktacular science: Double-up science lessons with Halloween and teach children about static electricity by using paper ghosts and balloons. Get the children to rub balloons on a woolly jumper and then hover them over the paper ghosts and watch them jump around!

Creepy and creative: OneSpider hand paints for the younger ones! Get arty by creating spider hands and ghost feet. Using black and white paint, get children to paint their hands and the soles of their feet and then press it against a piece of card or sugar paper. For the spider, place their hands with their fingers facing outwards to create the legs! Then choose some googly eyes and string to create a web.

Spellbinding story-telling: Use Halloween as a theme for literacy and get the children to come up with a story linked to a spooky setting, for example, a haunted house (or classroom!) Get them to really think about the sounds and sights they would come across. Allow them to really immerse themselves in the theme and then ask them to perform their stories to other groups in the class.

LEGO BrickYourPumpkin#BrickYourPumpkin: Come up with a creative way of combining pumpkin carving with activities you would normally do in the classroom. For example, these ideas from LEGO Education, allow students to use the LEGO bricks to build and decorate impressive pumpkins

Dead useful resources: You can find simple, yet effective Halloween activity sheets on TeacherVision like the ‘spider search’, which uses a spider’s web to get children practicing angle measurements using a protractor.

Frightful frozen hands: Another scieFrozen bug handsnce-based experiment that’ll teach children about solids and liquids. Fill latex gloves with bugs and other gruesome
items and then fill them with water and set them in the freezer overnight. Once frozen, remove the latex and then get students to time how long it takes for the frozen hands to melt. Encourage them to think of ways to speed up the melting process, to see what affects the ice the quickest.

All these activities are bound to get children engaged, intrigued and excited and also encourages them to experience a more hands-on learning approach. Most of all have fun with it, and don’t forget to share your skulls and top tips for teaching in the classroom.

Happy Halloween!