Write and Read (Laura)
5 Eerie, Engaging Halloween Activities for Secondary ELA
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Why should elementary classes have all the fun on Halloween? Middle and high school students deserve some fun Halloween activities, too. Try these five ideas for engaging Halloween lessons for secondary students.
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 Trip to the Basement
In high school, my American Lit teacher took us to the school basement. We sat in the dark in front of stacks of old furniture reading scary stories by candlelight. I will never forget that day in class, and you can create a memorable event yourself. Think about the dark, creepy areas around your school, and take a field trip.
For a standards based lesson, Monster Voice is a favorite. This 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.
Descriptive Writing: Scary Story Edition
If your students struggle to elaborate and use figurative language, Descriptive Writing: Scary Story Edition is the perfect Halloween 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. Then they get a chance to show off what they learned.
Scary Story Units
Teaching scary stories is another great way to keep your Halloween activities standards based. Personally, I love stories that have twist endings. They are always the most popular with students. Here are my favorites:
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
“Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl
No matter what Halloween activity you choose, have fun and enjoy the day with your students. Happy Halloween!
Check out my Halloween Resources:
Descriptive Writing: Scary Story Edition (Digital and Printable)
Monster Match Dating Profile Creative Writing
Monster Voice: Creating Voice with Diction, Imagery, and Syntax
Scary Story Bundle (Digital and Printable)
"The Cask of Amontillado" Digital and Printable Story Unit
"The Landlady" Digital and Printable Story Unit
"The Pedestrian" Digital and Printable Story Unit