At least in the U.S., schools in October are full of pumpkins and ghosts and all things Halloween. Since the time of creepy obsession is upon us, why not take advantage of interests and write something spooky? I will admit to a bias against gratuitous gore, but that just requires more skilled writing. After all, Hitchcock can be as scary as they come, even in black and white. Gory is the cheap way out. We don’t need to go there. So, instead, here are Halloween links (and blogs from years past) to get you going.
Of course, October is the perfect month to write scary stories. You might even use the Descriptosaurus Ghost Stories reference to help students develop vocabulary and phrasing suited to the task. You can find other resources in the scary stories link above.
Or perhaps you’d rather go a sillier route. Frankenstein (a spoof on the classic children’s book Madeleine) can inspire spoofs from students from elementary to high school, particularly if older students are studying the important of audience. For young children, the witch’s dilemma in It’s Raining Bats and Frogs can be a delightful introduction to idioms and a call to creatively expand on them. A new picture book, This is the House that Monsters Built, is a monstrous version of “This is the House that Jack Built” and could inspire many variations on that theme. I kind of like Zombie in Love for Valentine’s Day (I’m such a romantic!), but it also could provide a great Halloween option for different types of romance. Ghost in love, anyone?
There are a number of short spooky options. Two sentence horror stories is a genre that can be elementary-appropriate or adult-terrifying. I didn’t know until recently that Horror Haiku was also popular–use your favorite search engine to see how much. Here’s one place to start. There are also Horror Haiku videos on YouTube, but you need a greater appreciation of gore than I have to fully enjoy them. Fortunately, there’s also Boo Haiku for a gentler take and a spooky introduction to the poetic form.
But what if you don’t teach language arts? Do you get to have some creative Halloween fun? Do your teach math? How about spooky story problems? I’ll bet your students could create some. I already set one middle school math teacher giggling at the thought of her students writing (then solving) zombie math problems involving 3/4 of a zombie plus 2/3 of a zombie. How many complete zombies would there be? And of course there are lots of ooey gooey Halloween science options. Here’s one place to start–there are lots more. But I ended up struggling with creative Halloween social studies or history. You can learn the history of the holiday, but beyond that I got stuck. Any ideas, creative readers?
May your October be just creepy enough to be fun–and creative.