- Thursday 10 October 2019
- 0 Comments
Halloween is approaching, meaning it’s time to liven up the classroom with spooky decorations and bewitching tales. Why not bring some Halloween fun to your pupils with some of the following cross-curricular activities?
1. Slime monster science
Is it a liquid? Is it a solid? Or is it something else entirely? These questions surrounding the marvellous slime monster can neatly slide into any classroom discussion of state properties. By following this recipe from Little Bins for Little Hands, create slime companions with which pupils can investigate the concept of non-Newtonian fluids. Add some googly eyes to the mix to give the slime a monstrous and Halloween-appropriate appearance.
2. Bubble, bubble, toil & trouble
Bring Halloween and fractions together with this idea from Teach Hub: A witch’s cauldron is bubbling away, ready for a potion to be added. Have pupils write out a recipe of spooky ingredients, using fractions. For example, ¾ cups of bat wings, ½ a lizard and so on. The fractions should add up to the number of witches the pupil wants to serve. Once everyone has written their recipe, pupils exchange their creations to see if their fractions add up to the right number of witches.
3. Dem bones, dem bones …
Playing this classic song is always a catchy way to start discussion on the skeleton and the various bones that make up the human body. Follow this up by having pupils make their own skeletons by cutting up straws and sticking them down on a piece of card. Ask them to label as many of the bones as they can on their creation.
4. Spooking aloud
Halloween is the perfect time to explore the old tradition of oral storytelling. Start by setting up the right environment—dim the lights, gather pupils in a circle, put a torch to your chin and delight them with a short scary story. If you don’t have a classic of your own, try Cow’s head or The fifty-cent piece for some classroom-friendly eerie tales. Follow up the story by asking about oral storytelling—how does it differ from written narrative? What might be some of the advantages and disadvantages of this way of sharing stories?
5. Spooky, scary, skele-stories
Instead of sharing an old story, why not have pupils write new ones of their own? Start the lesson with a discussion of what can make a story scary, and what typical characters we see in Halloween tales, from monsters to witches. Have your class use these ideas to write a short story, either in pairs or individually, then share them in groups.
6. Bats about recycling
Looking for some seasonal decorations pupils can make to liven up the classroom? This website suggests a neat idea to make egg carton bats and ghost leaves—all you need are leaves, egg cartons, paint and ribbon to string up the thematic creations. Use the crafting opportunity to talk to your class about how the egg cartons are being recycled instead of thrown away. Invite them to consider other ways items might be recycled.
7. Batty maths
Following on with the bat theme, Maths four has put together two fun worksheets combining geometry with the classic Halloween animal. Both worksheets, one for older and one for younger pupils, offer questions about shapes that pupils are required to turn into a batty companion. Consider adding this to your Halloween maths lesson.
8. Day of the Dead
Celebrations around the Halloween period differ vastly around the world. Most pupils are likely familiar with Halloween’s American traditions, so it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce them to Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos. Start by showing pupils this video to explain the colourful holiday. Afterwards, invite them to draw and decorate a skull in the style of the celebration. Alternatively, pupils can discuss their Halloween traditions with each other and see how they differ.
9. Boos and balloons
Back to Halloween science, albeit with a physics theme this time. This simple experiment from Science Bob requires only tissue paper and balloons (and a marker pen, just to give each ghost a face). See if pupils can get a tissue-paper ghost to rise to a balloon through the power of a static charge. Ask them to follow up their initial experiment with different variables—what if the ghost is bigger or smaller? What if you rub the balloon against your hair for longer? Use this experiment to introduce the concept of electrons.
10. Zombies and gravestones
Here’s a Halloween twist on an old outdoor game—set up two lines of cones and have all pupils stand at one line. Pick two pupils to act as ‘zombies’. Everyone else must run to the other line and avoid the zombie pupils. If tagged, they become ‘gravestones’ and must try to touch the untagged pupils without moving their arms. It’s a great warm-up and a quick way to get pupils moving, especially on a day when they’re bound to eat a lot of sweets!