Get your kindergarten and first grade students engaged and excited about learning by incorporating Halloween-themed activities into your lesson plans where possible. Nothing scary, maybe a bit spooky, but definitely a lot of fun!
Incorporating seasonal activities into the curriculum really ramps up student interest, keeps your students engaged in the activities, and might just be what gets them to school each day!
Don’t you want your kids to want to come to school and say that learning is fun? Heck yeah, you do!!
Halloween Activities for Reading
Room on the Broom – Julia Donaldson
Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins – James Dean
The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree- Stan and Jan Berenstain
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything -Linda D. Williams
Spookley the Square Pumpkin – Joe Troiano
The Night Before Halloween – Natasha Wing
Big Pumpkin – Erica Silverman
Corduroy’s Best Halloween Ever! – Don Freeman
The Hallo-Wiener -Dav Pilkey
The Spooky Wheels on the Bus – J. Elizabeth Mills
Ten Timid Ghosts – Jennifer O’Connell
Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch – Alyssa Satin Capucilli
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories – Alvin Schwartz
Clifford’s Halloween – Norman Bridwell
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich – Adam Rex
Stellaluna – Janell Cannon
How to Catch a Witch – Alice Walstead
Turkey Trick or Treat – Wendi Silvano
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat – Lucille Colandro
Good Night Goon – Michael Rex
Madeline and the Old House in Paris – John B. Marciano
The Haunted House That Jack Built – Helaine Becker
Three Bears Halloween – Kathy Duval
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever – Steven Kroll
If You Give a Mouse a Pumpkin- Laura Numeroff
The Crayons Trick or Treat – Drew Daywalt
Creepy Carrots – Aaron Reynolds
The Berenstain Bears Happy Halloween! – Jan Berenstain
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything: Read this book aloud and provide props for students to take turns acting out the story as you read. The students will LOVE being part of this interactive version of the story. ie. when the story says CLOMP, CLOMP, CLOMP a student will use boots to make the sound instead. So much fun and so many giggles!!
Illustrating a story: Students can also draw to illustrate a story as you read or choose their favorite part of the story to illustrate.
Sound effects: Choose a book and have students make the sound effects as you read.
Pumpkin Book Characters: Have students dress pumpkins as characters in books you’ve read.
Pumpkin Jack Bowling: You’ll need a small pumpkin as a bowling ball. Use a marker to give him a face. You’ll also need 6 empty 2 liter bottles for bowling pins. Fill them up with about 3 – 4 inches of water. Check that pumpkin and pins work together. You might have to make some adjustments. Tightly seal or tape top of the pins so they don’t leak.
When playing set up pins in an inverted triangle. 3 in the back, 2 in the next row, 1 in the front. Have student stand far enough away to make play fun but not impossible. Have him/her read word, spell word, etc. If they’re correct, they get to bowl. If they’re incorrect, they do not get to bowl. Tell them the answer and play goes to the next person.
You can divide the class into teams as well if you want to keep score. Most of the time, the kids just like to bowl and will keep their own score.
To make it more Halloweenie you can paint the pins orange with black jack o’ lantern faces. Or white with ghost faces. Or making them look like Frankenstein would be too cute! Or a mixture of all of them!! Whatever, the kids will love it!
Halloween Ring Toss: Set up several pumpkins with long stems … each one a little farther away. Give each pumpkin a number value such as 50, 75, 100. Play the game the same as Pumpkin Bowling, but instead of bowling, the student will toss a ring onto a pumpkin. (You can make plastic rings by cutting out the inside of a plastic lid)
Halloween Color by Code Glyphs: Kids love Color by Code and they love doing glyphs. So I took those two things and combined them together to create Color by Code Glyphs!
Your students will have fun completing these fun Halloween Color by Code Glyphs while they’re practicing grade level skills. Flashcards are included to be used for review, scaffolding, or cueing; before, during, or after play. Simple data analysis recording sheets also included along with guiding questions for discussion.
Great for review, subs, indoor recess, fun and party days!
Click to Shop:
Halloween ABC Bingo: Playing Bingo is something else kids love and it’s also great for reviewing or practicing skills. This letters and sounds bingo game covers capital letters, lowercase letters, and sounds.
Purchase: Halloween ABC Bingo
Skeleton Color Words: Click HERE for photo and instructions.
Halloween First 25 Sight Words Bingo: Playing games like bingo also helps students learn how to win and lose. That’s a skill that isn’t necessarily learned at home by all students and has to be learned/taught at school and practiced in the classroom.
This sight words bingo game will seamlessly mesh with the first 100 sight words game so that scaffolding or differentiation can take place within the classroom if needed.
Both the First 25 Sight Words and the First 100 Sight Words cards could be in play and the other students would not realize. Minimizing embarrassment for students needing scaffolding or differentiation.
Purchase: Halloween First 25 Sight Words Bingo
On a Trick or Treating Night emergent reader: A fun little Halloween reader about going trick or treating.
Click HERE to see it along with more Halloween activities including a monster glyph and free printable.
Halloween First 100 Sight Words Bingo: Same bingo game as above, only using the first 100 most frequently used words.
Purchase: Halloween First 100 Sight Words Bingo
Halloween Noun Sort Bingo: Getting students up and moving is always a great way to get them motivated and engaged in learning. Pocketchart activities are a great way to get students out of their seats and give them opportunities to get the wiggles out while staying engaged and on task.
This Halloween Noun Sort Bingo is designed to be used in a pocketchart but can just as easily be used on the floor, a magnetic board (add magnets to the back) or a table.
Students sort noun cards into person, place, thing, or animal. Follow-up printables included.
Purchase: Halloween Noun Sort
Halloween Noun Scavenger Hunt: Follow up the Halloween Noun Sort with this new Halloween Noun Scavenger Hunt! Students get to travel around the classroom; clipboard and response sheet in hand, searching for noun cards. Once found, they decide if the noun is a person, place, animal, or thing and record their answer. Double the fun by pairing up the students! Up to 35 noun cards to use. Teacher’s choice.
Purchase: Halloween Noun Scavenger Hunt
The Gigantic Pumpkin reader and worksheets: Another fun reader that gives a nod to Halloween. Inspired by The Little Red Hen … but with a twist. Promotes teamwork, friendship, and kindness.
Purchase: The Gigantic Pumpkin
Halloween Activities for Writing
October Writing Activities: October Draw. Color. Write. Activities are the perfect writing activities to get your students interested and engaged in writing. Just right October themed writing prompts for each day (plus extras) ready to print. Vocabulary included to assist those who need it.
Students begin to take ownership of their work by drawing, adding to the illustration, then coloring. Once their picture is complete, that’s what they’ll write about.
If you’re interested in the writing method that I used with my students, you can read about that HERE.
Halloween Activities Math
Halloween manipulatives: Use candy corn, candy pumpkins, wrapped Halloween candy, and other Halloween candy as counting manipulatives. Always make sure to give students a taste ahead of time or be sure to tell them they’ll get some afterwards or you’re just asking for your manipulatives to be eaten … no matter how disgusting you might think it is. 🙂 If you don’t want them eaten at school or there’s no time, bag them up and send them home. Just knowing they’re going to get that candy will keep most kids in line.
Halloween Patterns: Provide Halloween candy, mini erasers, or small toys like plastic spiders, etc for students to create patterns.
Halloween Sorting: Have students sort Halloween manipulatives above and discuss their sorting pattern. Wrapped/ unwrapped, big/little, sticks/ no sticks, soft/hard, candy/toys
Jack Counting: Purchase small jack ‘o lanterns and program with numbers on back. Provide small pieces of candy for manipulatives. Students count the correct number of pieces of candy into each jack o’ lantern. I only did numbers 0 – 10. So if doing numbers to 10 you’d need 55 pieces of candy.
I even saved my candy and used it year after year. I cautioned the kids each year and told them not to eat it because it was old and yucky! I’m sure some still did! HA!
See a picture HERE
Spider Web Counting: Another oldie but simple to create center activity. Click HERE for picture and information.
Halloween Counting to 10 Pack (Mats, Clip Cards, Ten Frames, Worksheets): This was my first Halloween resource to make that I loved! I wanted the kids to feel like they were having fun while they worked. It has math mats with and without number models, math mats with ten frames, counting sets to 10 clip cards, and follow-up worksheets. Pair these with some fun Halloween candy or manipulatives like mini erasers and the kids will be excited about learning!
Candy Corn Puzzles to 10: Candy corn is a great Halloween theme for those that can’t do Halloween. And this candy corn puzzle activity is so fun for the kids if you incorporate real candy corn as manipulatives. Click HERE to check it out and get a free printable.
5 Little Pumpkins Math Activities for Numbers 1 – 12: Use the poem 5 Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate as a hook to introduce this activity for numbers 1 – 12. Students work to find all 5 pumpkins for each number 1 – 12 and put them on a gate. Color and backline version of the poem included. See other 5 Little Pumpkins activity photo below.
Halloween Number Bingo: Do some fun number practice with Halloween number bingo.
Purchase: Halloween Number Bingo 0 – 20
Halloween Counting & Number Words to 20: This was such a fun resource to make! I wanted to do something with candy, so I made this trick or treating counting activity for the kids.
Purchase: Halloween Counting & Number Words 0 – 20
5 Little Pumpkins Number Sequencing to 99: Use the poem 5 Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate as a hook to introduce this activity on sequencing numbers as well. Students sequence 5 numbers on a gate and record their answers on the response page. Each set of pumpkins is colored for easy identification. More advanced students can use all orange pumpkins. A color and backline copy of the poem included. Students draw pumpkins and color on blackline.
More Halloween Activities
Disguise the Pumpkin: I’m sure you’ve heard of Disguise the Turkey projects. You send a paper turkey home as a family project for the family to decorate the turkey and disguise it as something totally different … Santa, a cow, etc.
I had the idea of doing the same with a pumpkin except the pumpkin would be real and it would come from home. Or you could use a paper pumpkin or jack o’ lantern … your choice. Families would disguise the pumpkins and return them to school.
If you do this, share your pictures. I’d love to see them! 🙂
Paint the Pumpkin: Put pumpkins in a center for students to paint or they can use washable markers and reuse the pumpkins.
Halloween Sensory Table: Turn the sensory table into a bubbly witch’s cauldron. Use a big plastic cauldron or tub painted black on the floor with dried black beans or green rice. Add some clear plastic balls of assorted sizes for bubbles, plastic eyeballs, skeletons, spiders, witch’s fingers, and frogs. Of course, they’ll need a ladle or big wooden spoon to stir the cauldron with, and if you’re not afraid of head lice … a witch’s hat to wear while the bubbly is being brewed. For playing inside the cauldron, small cauldrons, jack o’ lanterns, and potion bottles to fill. Filling bottles is a great activity to practice fine motor skills and dexterity.
There are some really fun activities here that I’ve done with my students and they bring back some great memories. I hope you found some things you can use with your students that will bring fun into your classroom and that will make some fun memories for both you and your students.
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