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HALLOWEEN 
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MES-Addict

Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:36 am
Posts: 32
Location: Miyagi, Japan
Post HALLOWEEN
I'm just beginning to plan my Halloween lesson for this year.
Anyone have any good lesson plans or activities for teaching Halloween in a 45 minute class?

I've seen lots of good ideas for a bigger party, but I'm wondering about a classroom setting...


Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:08 pm
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 12:21 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Alberta, Canada
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In small classes, I have had the students do halloween mazes or word searches. It was pretty much a free class and no real teaching :P but the students enjoyed a break from studying and they liked the halloween pictures and games.

There is a good bingo game for halloween here as well as Mark's site:) I used this bingo before for halloween and also the Christmas one.

http://www.crayola.com/search/results.c ... go&x=8&y=6

Colouring pages are always great too! I used to hang all the students pictures on the wall for decorations ;)


Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:26 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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If you have access to a computer lab, there is the possibility of doing an internet search or webquest for halloween. You can make up a few questions for each group and let them go at it for 20 minutes or so. Then, discuss the answers and see if there were any discrepancies. With the remaining time send them over to my Halloween game www.marks-english-school.com/games/halloween.html

Once I talked with some students about Halloween and answered their questions after my brief explanation. Then I passed out orange paper with a pumpkin outline and had them make their own Jack o' Lanterns. We cut them out and then pasted them around the room. For older students you can have them cut the faces out as well and then put them in the windows. That way the light will pass through the design just like a lit pumpkin! Well... almost.

To make the discussion part fun, you can create a 3x3 Bingo board with yes/no questions written in each box. Students choose an answer before hand and if they were correct, they would place a circle in that box. At the end of the discussion they would add up the number of bingos they made from correct answers.

example questions:
Are jack o' lanterns designed to scare people?
Do some people dress up as things and not monsters?

I just did a podcast last week on Halloween ideas for class over at www.eslteachertalk.com If you got the time to listen to that it should be up on the site later today.

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Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:58 pm
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If you want to keep it as a "semi" regular class instead of making it a free day, why not spend a few days teaching Halloween vocabulary and traditions?

I like using games to teach English anyway, so by altering the topic/contents of the games, you can make them Halloween related.

Here's an example:

Have your students start about 4 feet from a worksheet. The worksheet should be Halloween related such as containing the holiday-themed pictures in one column and the words in another column. Have them match the words and then go back to where they started where there is a sheet that has the pictures with blanks next to them. Here they can write in the correct words.

Another idea would be to have a series of Halloween-themed activities around the room -- some could be purely fun such as painting a small pumpkin or gourd and others can be educational in nature such as reviewing Halloween traditions and vocabulary, reading a Halloween story and answering comprehension questions (level appropriate, of course) and maybe even a series of add-a-sentence ghost stories.

Then you can have the students choose a certain number of stations to visit, or visit each one throughout the class period.


Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:48 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:08 am
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Location: Imsil, Jeolla-buk-do, South Korea
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If you like using music--try the Moster Mash. I usually pre-teach some of the vocabulary a few classes before so it is easier to sing along to. It is actually a very fun song for Hallowe'en. I've even had the class sing the different parts (backing vocals, etc.)


Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:58 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:43 am
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"There is no halloween bugaboo to brought into any of our classes"

Was the response I got after inquiring about some possible Halloween themed lessons in school.


Basically what they mean is it's too much like playing and there is no fun allowed at our school.


Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:44 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:08 am
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Location: Imsil, Jeolla-buk-do, South Korea
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Quote:
Basically what they mean is it's too much like playing and there is no fun allowed at our school.


Oh, when will the educational dinosaurs finally go extinct? If someone enjoys something he/she will want to do it and want to do it well. Whereas if they have a bad experience with it then they will never learn it because they will always hate it.

Good luck to you, Mike. I would never be able to survive at your school.


Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:15 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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There is also the reasoning that many of the words or vocabulary associated with holidays are common place. I use the holidays to teach a lot of vocabulary that is useful but just doesn't really fit well in other places, example thanksgiving is a great time to go over some cooking vocabulary.

I'm in the same boat as barnett7ya, I would have a tough time at that school. :P

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Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:16 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:02 pm
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Location: Koumi, Nagano
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Mike wrote:
"There is no halloween bugaboo to brought into any of our classes"

Was the response I got after inquiring about some possible Halloween themed lessons in school.


Last year I was told I wasn't allowed do anything about Halloween at one of my schools as I was a Satan worshipper and Halloween was the holiday of the devil.
I asked (on the qt) a teacher I get on well with who told me that a students mother had complained...the family were Christian and felt Halloween was evil.... :roll:


Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:06 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:14 pm
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Location: Adelaide Australia
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I had a similar but opposite problem in a few classes when I tried to do some Christmas activities and a couple of parents disapproved because they weren't Christians, and didn't believe in Christmas! You can't please everyone!!
I wasn't going to preach at them, just have a little fun! I went ahead despite these objections, and one of the students didn't attend and the other refused to take part and sat in the corner all lesson!!


Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:33 pm
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I think everyone has good points as to why they may be against celebrating those holidays in class. It's not the role of the school to hold these events. However, I don't think teachers are holding Sunday Mass during their Christmas lessons or Wicca rituals during their Halloween lessons. If you can get both sides to agree that a Christmas tree isn't going to convert anybody and a Jack o' Lantern isn't either, a little tolerance of different views and understanding is really helpful.

There's probably no use fighting it unless they are willing to listen. Just change your activities to 'Fall Harvest Festival' and 'Winter Festival,' unfortunately that means you can't use my resources but you can still do everything else.

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Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:41 am
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mesmark wrote:

There's probably no use fighting it unless they are willing to listen. Just change your activities to 'Fall Harvest Festival' and 'Winter Festival,' unfortunately that means you can't use my resources but you can still do everything else.


My school had a much "better" solution...cancel all English classes until well into Novemeber to make sure I couldn't brainwash the kiddies!!


Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:09 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:36 am
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Location: Miyagi, Japan
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Halloween freeze tag: standard freeze tag, where the "oni" is a witch, and students become mummies (strike a mummy pose and don't move) if touched. If other students want to un-freeze their friends, they ask an English question (whatever language you've been working on lately), the mummy has to answer, then can move again. I also recommend some Halloween music to keep things moving.

This was an absolute BLAST. The students were having so much fun, and were so busy running, that they really spit out the language without too much hemming and hawing. Definitely one of the best activities I've used. Can't wait to adapt it for other lessons.


Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:12 am
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:14 pm
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Location: Adelaide Australia
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Nice game! :D What age group did you use this game with? It seems that it would work well with any age, even up to High School. ~ Just alter the language to suit the levels. The frozen Mummy could cry out, "please save me!" or something like that, so his friends will come rescue him.

On a sunny day you could try going outside and run around the yard. Kids love this! It breaks the boredom of being stuck in a classsroom all the time!


Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:38 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: Nagano, Japan
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That game is also really great if you have the witch cast a spell on the person.

"Jump."
"Turn around"
"Cry"
"Run in place"
"Shout 'I love English!' over and over"

Whatever you'd like. That's when it really gets funny. They have to do that action until they are saved (in whatever way you see fit.)

I'm sure with a good/cooperative group you can get the game to work with junior high or high school students, especially if you make it punishing. They enjoy that more than the English part or the game.

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Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:38 pm
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