Halloween’s right around the corner! If it’s not your first year in the classroom, you’ll know that having attentive and focused kids in the classroom in the lead-up to Halloween is probably witchful thinking

So why not get into the spirit of things by bringing some Halloween fun into your classroom? We’ve curated a special list of four Halloween Activities for English Language Arts that are guaranteed to keep students motivated, engaged, and dying for more!

Practice Reading Comprehension with a Halloween Reading Packet 

Who said reading comprehension has to be boring? With this Halloween-themed reading packet created by Teacher Shelly Rees, kids will work on developing their answering skills as they read about werewolves, vampires, and Frankenstein. Keep their hands and minds busy with a text organization cut-and-paste activity, and encourage them to tap into their creative side by writing a Halloween acrostic poem. The activities in this reading packet are also easily adapted to group settings to let students have a bit of fun together!

Create a Halloween Short Story Flip Book 

Secondary English Coffee Shop has six great ideas to bring the spooky to your English class such as introducing spooky short stories and books, and Halloween-themed debates (kids will have a blast arguing about the merits of candy!) Our favorite from this list is the Halloween Short Story Flip Book! 

Teach the elements of a plot AND get your students’ creative juices flowing. It includes a detailed guide and multiple setting prompts to walk students through writing their very own spooky short stories. For a bit of extra fun, you can also support students to do a dramatic reading of their stories when they’re done – bonus points for getting a few screams!

Teach Symbolism with Halloween Candy

Need an excuse to eat Halloween candy with your students? This is the perfect activity for you! Teacher, Danielle Hall of Nouvelle ELA has an ingenious idea to integrate candy into learning – by using Tootsie Roll Pops® to teach symbolism

We know that teaching symbolism is tricky business. It’s abstract, it’s open to interpretation, and there’s no “one right answer”. By using Tootsie Roll Pops® as the basis to unpack symbolism, students get to appreciate how symbolism exists all around us, even in Halloween candy!

Play a Digital Learning Game

Thrill students with their very own spooky mystery to solve this Halloween with Read to Lead’s Vital Signs: Diagnosis Unknown. Students take on the role of Medical Director in this digital learning game to help a patient who comes in with a mysterious combination of symptoms. By researching the patient’s symptoms and activities the medical team determines it could be food poisoning, the flu, or malaria. Students have to put their critical thinking skills to the test and determine the best treatment for the patient!

Students will love the element of mystery and intrigue incorporated into the learning game as they build skills in close reading, comprehension, and analysis. Sign up for a free Read to Lead account to get students started working with a host of diverse characters to solve complex problems by finding clues, and drawing inferences to resolve the day’s mystery!Halloween doesn’t have to be a scare-fest for ELA teachers. With these four activities to choose from, we can guarantee that your students will have a spook-tacular time learning! Happy Halloween!!

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Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!