Driving home on an unknown, dark, twisty road with tall, scary trees looming on the left and the dark ocean lapping up to the shore on the right and no sign of human life anywhere on Friday the 13th had me just a bit more than freaked. I had to keep reminding myself that 1. The Jersey Devil cannot come to Florida, 2. Vampires are not real, no matter how real Nora Roberts made them out to be in her latest series, and 3. sharks cannot jump out of the ocean to eat me while I’m on the road in a car. Yes, I know, I have an over-active imagination, but then even Gremlins scared me as a child.
Can you guess what this whole post is about? Yep! Halloween. Earlier this week I received an email from an old friend asking for some ideas on what to do with Halloween in the middle school. Elementary teachers do fun things at this time with bats and ghosts, but what can the upper grades do? I had plenty of time to think of this in the car.
For one, check out unitedstreaming. On the calendar there is a list of videos that are perfect for Halloween. There’s background information on Dracula, which would be great for using Time Liner or even Inspiration. Or you can compare other Halloween classical characters. (Careful. If you don’t clarify characters from literature you might get characters like Jason or Michael Meyers.)
Want something for Social Studies? Check out the Holiday Facts and Fun: Halloween. Using Inspiration, you can create a document about how this holiday is celebrated in other countries, the origin of the holiday and more. Want to get really freaky with it? Create a holiday graphic organizer and each major holiday that is celebrated world wide, add to the organizer. Sounds like a perfect job for Inspiration! unitedstreaming has the videos to help with your fact finding mission. Or, find videos, images or other links that share how Halloween is celebrated in other countries and create a Google Earth File. Fly around the world (pefect for a class on culture and geography) as you learn about this scary holiday.
Some of our towns also lend themselves to ghost stories or tales of local lore. Kay Teehan told me about a ghost tour she took in Georgia once. I heard that there are some great haunted hay rides or ghost walks in Florida. Sharpen those writing skills!
Perfect time for science teachers as well. I use to have a great recipe for making sweet but delicious blood. Caro Syrup, Chocolate syrup, blue and red dye were some of the ingredients. Chemical reactions, phsyical changes, mixtures and other changes can be explored at this time. How about scientific ways to make some of the other scary feats happen in horror houses?
My mind wouldn’t let me go past these simple activities. Therefore, with just 17 days left until the little darlings of the world show up to ask you for treats or you’ll get tricked dressed in their scariest garb, can you help with some Halloween ideas? If you create something that other teachers can benefit from, please upload it to the Resource Section.