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5 Eerie, Engaging Halloween Activities for Secondary ELA

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Why should elementary classes have all the Halloween fun? Bring some spooky fun to your middle and high school students with these five captivating Halloween activities that your secondary students will love.


A long man walks through a foggy forest. The trees are bare and dense. Bold text says, "Halloween Ideas for Secondary ELA."


Halloween Pop Culture Clips

If your class is reading a creepy piece of classic literature, check out some pop culture pairings. When I taught seventh grade, my go-to Halloween lesson was teaching “The Raven” and watching The Simpsons version of the poem. Many TV shows and cartoons have versions of creepy classics, and students love them. YouTube is also full of short videos of everything from “The Cask of Amontillado” to Dracula. There are even some anime versions available.


A Halloween Trip to the Basement

In high school, my American Lit teacher took us to the school basement on Halloween. We sat in the dark in front of stacks of old desks reading scary stories by candlelight. I will never forget that day in class, and you can create a memorable event for your own students this Halloween. Think about the dark, creepy areas around your school, and take your students on a field trip. Bring some candles or flashlights to create some eerie ambiance.


A student is creating a monster for the monster voice activity.

Monster Voice

For a standards-based lesson, Monster Voice is a favorite. This creative writing lesson teaches students how to use diction, imagery, and syntax to create voice. It’s a great writing assignment to get students thinking about the choices they make when writing. It also has a fun, creative task that requires students to create a monster.


For more Halloween creative writing ideas, read 4 Halloween Creative Writing Activities for Middle and High School ELA.


Two pages of the scary story editing activity are laid out on a desk. On top of the pages, there is a Halloween pencil, eyeball eraser, and plastic spider.

Descriptive Writing: Scary Story Revision Lesson

If your students struggle to elaborate and use figurative language, Descriptive Writing: Scary Story Edition is the perfect Halloween revision lesson. This lesson teaches students to ditch the cliches, use sensory detail, and show rather than tell. Students first walk through the revision process with a prewritten story to transform into an eerie masterpiece. Then they get a chance to show off what they learned with an original spooky tale.



Scary Story Units

Teaching scary stories is another great way to keep your Halloween activities standards-based, and they are always popular with students. The horror genre includes a lot of suspense and twists, which makes scary stories perfect for teaching irony, mood, plot, and foreshadowing. Here are some of my favorite scary stories to teach in secondary ELA:

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

“Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl


To read more about scary stories for your secondary students, read this blog post: 7 Scary Short Stories to Read on Halloween in Secondary ELA.


No matter what Halloween activity you choose for your classes, have fun and enjoy the spooky Halloween spirit with your students. Happy Halloween!

Laura


Check out my Halloween resources:

Scary Story Bundle (Digital and Printable)




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