Turn Halloween Into a Learning Holiday

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An interest in spooky things fuels kids' imaginations — Halloween costumes, spiders, haunted houses, jack o' lanterns. Capitalize on their interest with these cross-curricular lessons that provide rich opportunities for writing and art as well as math, reading, and science. They offer the perfect alternative to a traditional Halloween celebration.

Halloween is made for ghost stories, pumpkin stories, witch stories, monster stories, and more. From the slightly spooky to the simply silly, these recommended read-alouds are guaranteed Halloween hits.

Our Halloween Activity Set is full of fun ways to learn on this spooky holiday. Students can take a trip into Halloween history with a spooky Web Hunt, read and write mysteries , and more.

You can start with a discussion of the history of Halloween (PDF) with a nonfiction essay for grades 2-6.

Then, give students a new perspective of trick-or-treating as you go door to door with Max to solve a math adventure (grades K-2).


Scary Starters: Writing Activity Ideas
Students create a story beginning with a sentence that the teacher provides. Includes instructions for the teacher and a list of ten sentences appropriate for Halloween stories.

Scary Story Web Sites
by Monica Edinger
This content resource assists teachers in finding sites related to scary stories and Halloween. Links to sites, a teacher's guide, and suggestions for this genre are included.

Spooky & Scary Books
A list of spooky and scary books for grades PreK-8.

Not-So-Scary Storybook October
by Lucia Kemp Henry
Lesson in literature with a Halloween theme. Includes reading response journals and character treat bags.

See a Story Created By You Come to Life
See a Story Created By You Come to Life
Watch how author and illustrator David Hyde Costello transforms student ideas about scary characters and fun plot twists into an exciting monster story.

Bottled Monsters
Students make bottled monsters out of construction paper using the bottled monster template provided on the site.

Multiplication Mysteries
by Jodi Simpson
Instructor Magazine | Fun, Halloween-themed math activities for practicing multiplication.

Harry Potter Brings Magic into the Classroom
Harry Potter Brings Magic into the Classroom
Instructor Magazine | Utilize kids' enthusaism for J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter to motivate your students through these Harry Potter themed skill-building classroom activities.
Parent Guide to Book Genres: Horror, Thrillers, and Scary Stories
Parent Guide to Book Genres: Horror, Thrillers, and Scary Stories
by Beverly Brettmann
Scholastic Parents | Discuss with parents how horror books can teach kids to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Share these recommended titles and discussion guides to reinforce reading at home.

Lesson Plans

Observing the Pumpkin Cycle
by Jan Tankey
Teach your students about the life cycle of pumpkins through shared reading of non-fiction books, as well as through observation.

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