Spooky Story Lesson for Halloween

spooky stories
Every year I get so excited about Halloween because there are so many fun activities that you can incorporate.  Around this time, the kids are usually pretty wound up, so it's always good to find lessons that will keep them focused.

For the last couple of years, I've used the 3:15 series by Patrick Carman, which is a collection of several multi-media short stories.  I first learned about this from the incredible, Erin Cobb of I'm Lovin' Lit.

What 3:15 stands for are the 3 elements that make up these stories:  listen/watch the introduction, read, and then watch the conclusion.  The 15 is because you're supposed to be able to do all this in 15 minutes.  But I'll be honest, my 6th graders haven't ever been able to do it that quickly.  I use this to teach story elements, which I go introduce prior to this story.  As I'm Lovin' Lit stated, this is a great story to use for teaching this skill, because the various parts of the plot are fairly easy to identify.  The ending is actually the climax and also leaves you with somewhat of a cliffhanger, wondering what may happen next.

To have your students complete this lesson, you will need the following, which I have included here:
As they're reading/listening/watching the story, I have them fill in a story pyramid to check their understanding of story elements.  As a supplement to this, I also use these Digital Reading Response Task Cards, which addresses main idea, setting, main/minor characters, predictions, author's purpose, and more.

Digital Plot Pyramid

What spooky stories do you use around Halloween?  What activities go w/ the stories?  I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!


  1. The task cards you use for this activity are fabulous!

  2. What a fantastic idea for teaching the 3 elements in 15 minutes! I love the look of your blog, too!

  3. This is such a great idea, especially for struggling readers! Thank you so much for sharing these ideas and incredible resources! I'll definitely be sharing your blog post with some of my teacher friends!

  4. I absolutely love, love, love this idea!! This is a great strategy for my ELLs and struggling readers. I can't wait to use this with my students. I appreciate you sharing this with us! Plus, I was so excited to run across your blog. For some reason, I haven't been receiving your emails. I signed up again, so I'm looking forward to hearing from you! Happy Halloween! Thank you.

  5. What a neat idea to combine reading and video intro/conclusion. I'll have to check this out more-- thanks for sharing!

  6. Getting any activity done in 15 minutes is always a challenge, but I'm looking forward to trying this out!

  7. I hadn't heard of the 3:15 concept before, but it sounds very engaging! Thank you!