By Freda J. Glatt, MS
With more and more Halloween celebrations taking place in the classroom, at home parties, or at community events, here are some cross-curricular Halloween activities for you to enjoy.
1. Read a Halloween poem or song and find rhyming words, similes, metaphors, nouns, verbs, onomatopoeia, and so on.
2. Find Halloween-related words in the dictionary by using guide words. Divide them into syllables, write the accent mark, tell the part of speech, give the definition, add suffixes...whatever skills you want to review.
3. Research the origin of Halloween and its symbols. Write a report and include a bibliography.
4. Brainstorm a list of Halloween words and create your own crossword, kriss-kross, or word search puzzles.
5. Write a Halloween story or a short play. Perform the play and tape it!
6. Tape the class singing Halloween songs and play them on October 31.
7. See how many 3-letter words you can make out of 'Halloween.'
8. Cut out Halloween pictures from different print media to make cards or a collage.
9. Give everyone some colored M&M's and have children graph them. Alternately, have children classify the candy they bring to school and graph the different kinds. Possible categories are chocolatey, nutty, soft, and hard.
10. Look through newspaper ads and see what you would buy if you had $20. If your children are old enough, have them calculate the tax for your area.
11. Review following directions, measurement, health, and safety by making Halloween cupcakes, a cake, or cookies. Use Halloween-related cutters, food coloring for frosting, and small candies as decorations. Of course, adults should supervise children.
12. Use a pumpkin for the following activities:
a. Cut out the stem, take out the seeds, and carve out the pulp (refrigerate it). Have children draw a face for a jack-o-lantern and cut it out.
b. Roast the pumpkin seeds and have store-bought seeds on hand. Let children eat both and compare the taste, texture, and color.
c. Heat the pulp until it is soft and use it to make your own pumpkin pie! (NOTE: One recipe usually makes three regular pies.) Make sure to save pieces for the principal and others in your school. Tell children to remember the taste so they can compare it to a store-bought pumpkin pie.
d. Make sure to take pictures of each step. Have children write a caption for each one and make a book.
13. Foster multi-cultural awareness by having candies from different countries.
I hope these ideas are useful and inspire your own creative thinking. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
And remember...Reading is FUNdamental!
About the Author
Freda J. Glatt, MS, retired from teaching after a 34-year career in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Her focus, now, is to reach out and help others reinforce reading comprehension and develop a love for reading. Visit her site at http://www.sandralreading.com. Reading is FUNdamental!
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