In my last post I focused on celebrating fall without promoting Halloween. However, this post is about ALL things Halloween! I have been very lucky to work in schools that were comfortable with Halloween decorations, costumes and celebrations, and I absolutely loved it. Being from the UK, Halloween was really new to me, and whilst I know it has become bigger and bigger in Britain, it is still nowhere near what I have learned to embrace stateside. It’s time to burn one of your spooky black candles, put up your stripy socked feet and drink you apple cider as you peruse through these suggested books and activities.
(Disclosure: Some of links below are affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)
Any Halloween celebration would not be complete without the involvement of bats. True story, my aunt had a bat trapped in her bedroom and had to get it out while it flapped its evil wings around her and made a ca-cawing sound. (I may have embellished the last part of that sentence. Whatever, it was horrifying). But Stellaluna offers a much better experience of bats – one that you can empathize with and use for a variety of compare and contrast activities.
Did you know that Stellaluna also comes as a dvd? What a great way to compare and contrast literature with media versions.
I also love to introduce non-fiction books about bats. These are invaluable in debunking myths (such as the ca-cawing sound) that we have about bats.
Use these graphic organizers and writing activities to formulate point of view writing about bats:You can buy the bat craft template separately if you are looking for a not-so-creepy fall bulletin board craft. I don’t think he will scare anyone!
We are fascinated with witches. We want to be scared and we don’t want to be scared, in equal measure! These books and crafts will give your students a thrill and make them smile. Julia Donaldson’s Room on the Broom is a perfect book for the Halloween season.
In A Very Brave Witch, one little witch decides to find out what humans are really like. A great book for point of view, and understanding that people and their traditions may seem strange to a witch!
This story, and several others are featured on this compilation DVD – perfect for the end of party day or a wet recess.
Making ghosts ‘friendly’, in a Casper kinda way is really important when celebrating Halloween with young ones. There are tons of counting books available, and I have never met a student who didn’t like to be scared when I yelled out GHOST! at the end of in A Dark, Dark Tale.
The Day of the Dead
Learning about el Día de los Muertos has been one of the very best things for me in learning about Halloween traditions around the world. Although called the day of the dead, the celebration is essentially about remembering the life we have shared with those who are no longer with us. I love the colors, the fiestas and the teaching that we walk with death and family members who have passed on are still remembered and loved. The Day of the Dead by Bob Barner, written in Spanish and English is in rhyme and the author has included some factual information about the holiday. The craft or glyph activity makes a great decoration for your hallways. Get it in a bundle with an information flip book here.
And check out these Halloween crafts to make your classroom spooktacular!