If your school allows holiday related lessons, consider these lesson plan ideas for Halloween. Halloween can be incorporated into math lessons, science lessons and creative writing lessons with relative ease. Since kids are crazy on Halloween anyway, you might as well go with the flow and use some Halloween lesson plans that day.
Halloween Math Lesson Plan (1st to 3rd grade)
This Halloween math lesson plan focuses on simple, two-dimensional geometry. Essentially, your students identify different shapes on various Jack O’ Lanterns. The lesson also allows them some “hands on” time to create their own paper Jack O’ Lanterns with various geometric shapes.
You can start by asking your students to close their eyes and visualize Jack O’ Lanterns. What do they look like? What kind of shapes do they visualize on the pumpkin’s face? Are they eyes triangles or circles? Is the nose an oval or a triangle? Is the mouth a crescent or more of an oval?
You can display various Jack O’ Lanterns on whatever projecting device is available in your classroom. Students can identify the different shapes they see. This is a great time to discuss the characteristics of each shape and confirm that the students understand the number of sides for each shape. Then, each student draws his own Halloween pumpkin, using at least three different geometric shapes to design the face. Under the drawings, the students would write about how they chose shapes for their pumpkins’ faces.
Halloween Science Lesson Plan (3rd to 5th grade)
As we all know, Jack O’Lanterns decay in a relatively short period of time. This Halloween science lesson plan encourages students to observe and examine their families’ Halloween pumpkins over the days before and after Halloween.
Students should know that organic material decays. To keep things simple for students in this grade range, the teacher can describe decay as the process in which organic material breaks into smaller parts. For this lesson, the teacher can prepare a simple observation sheet with scheduled observations every two days. How does the pumpkin look? Has its color changed? Does it smell? Is it soft or firm? Students whose families do not celebrate Halloween could conduct the experiment with another fruit kept outside, such as a banana or grapes.
If your school is very lax on Halloween related activities, you may even be able to bring a pumpkin to school for the lesson, assuming you have a safe outdoor area on campus. This would allow your class to make their observations together with identical conditions for all.
Halloween Creative Writing Lesson Plan (3rd to 5th grade)
As a fourth grade teacher, I love creative writing showcases that allow students to write short pieces and share their writing with the class. This lesson would probably take two days; one day for the students to write and illustrate their scary stories, and another day for the students to read each others’ pieces.
On the first day, students write a short scary story. Once the story is complete, the student illustrates her story. As we all know, kids love to draw, so be sure that the student has invested sufficient effort into the story before she breaks out the crayons.
On the second day, each student’s piece is taped to his desk, and the class strolls around the room, reading each piece. Students would be on “level zero” (silence) during this time, although soft classical music may be played during the viewing time. Older students may be encouraged to leave supportive notes on the authors’ desks.
Whether you teach first grade, or fifth, I hope you can use at least one of these Halloween lesson plans this fall!