Halloween is just around the corner! With the approachment of this holiday, educators usually do one of two things. They either choose to ignore Halloween completely or they celebrate it in the classroom like they are reliving their second childhood. I always enjoyed doing the latter no matter what grade level I was teaching at.
During this time of year, it would be the perfect time to introduce lessons that correspond with Halloween. Whether you teach elementary, junior high, or high school, here are some suitable literary pieces that you should consider reviewing with your students in preparation.
You probably do not want to showcase any books that are scary or frightening to younger elementary students. You might exterminate their love of Halloween if you do so. A couple of books that have that “Halloween-feel” would be your best option.
Skeleton Hiccups is a light-hearted story about a skeleton and his friends trying to cure his case of the hiccups. The book is not frightening in the least, but will still introduce some of the usual Halloween characters.
Vunce Upon a Time is a humorous tale of a young vampire who is afraid of humans but would really like to experience Halloween. He has a love of candy and is willing to venture out on Halloween night to get it.
If you are searching for a couple of short books for 3rd and 4th-grade students that are beginning to love the spookiness of Halloween, these two should not let you down.
The Legend of Decimus Croome: A Halloween Carol is based on A Christmas Carol and follows the same pattern throughout the tale. A man that hates Halloween slowly has his mind changed through several meetings with spirits. It is a chapter book and is a bit long at a couple of hundred pages, so reading it to the class 20 minutes a day at the beginning of October will allow you to finish it just about perfectly on Halloween day.
Lilac Skully and the Haunted House is about a girl that must make friends with the ghosts in her haunted house. She is in a situation where the ghosts may be her best bet at survival. This tale is definitely a fun and spooky one that is just right for this age group.
Junior high is definitely a tricky time during Halloween. Is it cool to dress up in costumes or is it considered out of fashion? In any case, choose your Halloween literature carefully otherwise you will lose this audience.
Skeleton in the Closet: and Other Scary Stories by Russell J. Dorn contain a few short tales that should be able to keep the attention of junior high students. Plus, these tales are appropriate for this age level without any profanity or questionable material.
Small Spaces is a book that is appropriate to cover in school with junior high students as it contains no gore but still has a Halloween mystery to it. At just over 200 pages, it can be read in class during a two-week unit plan if the teacher chooses.
Depending upon the freedom allowed by your school district for high school students, there are plenty of great literature choices for Halloween. It is up to you on just how frightening you want to make it!
One of my favorites that I read year after year, Trick Or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick is the story of a newly formed family buying an old house in a new town. The two teenagers must get used to one another and their new surroundings as it seems there is a scare around every corner.
I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan first debuted in 1973 and ever since, there have been other books and films based loosely on this original. It may just teach your high school students the importance of making good choices and coming clean when faced with tough decisions.
If you would like to know how to get the most out of literacy in the classroom, iAchieve can definitely be of assistance. We offer professional development workshops in this category that would be perfect for you or even your whole teaching staff.