4 Educational Halloween Activities for Middle School ELA

Spooky Activities for ELA

We all know how crazy the classroom can be in the days before, and especially the day of, Halloween! After a few years of this craziness, I realized that kids couldn't just do the regular day-to-day lessons. That's when I began to get creative! Here are 4 of both my students and my all-time favorite spooky activities.

1. "The Lift" activities-  One of my students favorites is using Patrick Carman's 3:15 series. 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. For the complete lesson plan, click here.

2. Halloween Digital Escape Room- I've already promised both my virtual and face-to-face students that they could complete this digital escape room as long as they kept it together in the days prior to the week of Halloween. For this escape, students are trapped in the original Halloween celebration that took place over 2000 years ago. To "breakout" and return for the current Halloween festivities, they must escape 4 "rooms." Room #1 requires students to read an informational text on the History of Halloween. Next they will work with Halloween figurative language and will complete a jigsaw puzzle that requires them to determine the figurative language used in the puzzle. Then students will read a modified version of "The Monkey's Paw" where they answer critical thinking questions, and finally they will watch a short Edpuzzle video (NO LOGIN REQUIRED) and answer questions that will provide the final code. See a sneak peek below:

3. "The Monkey's Paw" Short Story Activities- These digital and printable activities require zero prep for teachers. Students will read the modified/shortened version of the story, fill out a plot diagram, take a quiz (the digital version is automatically graded in Google Forms), and then will complete a short constructed response on the theme of the story. A link to a short video on theme is also provided.

4. Spooky Stories on Commonlit is one of my go-to platforms because it's FREE, and it has thousands of leveled texts from any genre. This Halloween collection includes anything from "The Tell-Tale Heart" & "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe to "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving... and that's only a couple of MANY stories that are fitting for this season. Each story comes with guided questions, a quiz, and paired media that connects to the story. If you aren't familiar with Commonlit, I explain in more detail in this blog post.

What do you do with your students for Halloween? I would love to hear about it in the comments. 

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