Creative Halloween Ideas for ELA

The countdown to Halloween is on! If you're looking for some fun, new and creative ideas for your classroom this October, then you have come to the right place! I'm sharing several Halloween-themed ideas that can be used during the month of October, the weeks leading up to the holiday, as well as some quick and easy ideas that you can add to your classroom on October 31st.

If you're looking for a SPOOKY way to entice some creative writing in your class, consider using 5-word horror stories. Not only are they a ton of fun, but they are also a really quick way to bring some holiday-themed creativity to your classroom. You can give your students words or themes to base their stories on (depending on the time available) and incorporate as many or as little as you would like.

For example, you could give your students some random Halloween words (bat, witch, skeleton, etc.) to base their stories on or a theme, such as school.
  • We have a test now. (Scary for students!)
  • You have hours of homework. (Also, scary for students!)
Another fun way to incorporate some daily writing practice into your class is through the use of these Halloween Bell-Ringers. This print-and-go (editable) bulletin board display is a win-win. It's not only a great way to get your students thinking critically about the prompts, but it also serves as festive classroom decor. 😀

There are 31 prompts included, but you can use as many or as little as you would like. To reveal the prompt, simply flip up or remove the cover. I let my students pick the prompts, which gives it the interactive vibe as opposed to just writing them on the board. You can use one prompt a day until the end of October or reveal a few prompts each day during the last few weeks before Halloween.

Here are a few examples of the prompts you will find in:
    • Tell the story from the perspective of a Halloween trick-or-treat bag or one of the candies within the bag. What do you see? How do you feel? This story can be based around the days leading up to Halloween, the night of, or the days following.
    • Finish the story: "Everyone said the old Miller house was haunted, but I had to see for myself. I called my friends and we made our way down Crickety Street..."
    The month of October is a great way to incorporate scary short stories into your lessons. There are tons of well-known short stories that you have probably already heard of (The Monkey's Paw, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Tell-Tale Heart, etc.), but what about some other great stories that may be less known?
    • If Cornered, Scream by Patricia Thurmond (I show this YouTube video after we read it)
    • Candle Cove by Kris Straub
    • Our Neighbor's House by Emily Carroll
    • Redcap by Carrie Vaughn
     If you are looking for a few ways to keep your students entertained during the last few days (or week) leading up to Halloween, try an escape room! I created six Halloween-themed challenges in the escape room I called, "The Great Halloween Escape!" Students will complete a variety of tasks using different skills: problem solving, critical thinking, reading and basic math. Math in English? It's a fun way to get those students involved (who may be stronger in math as opposed to English) in a peer setting. Click HERE to check out my Halloween Escape Room.

    What better way to add some spooktacular fun into your classroom than by telling some ghost stories. Whether you share some with your students, your students write their own or you find some short clips on YouTube to show, it's a perfect way to set the scene for Halloween. 

    Here are a few tips for telling the perfect ghost story:
    1. Turn off the lights. 
    2. Hold a flashlight to your face (you know, how you see in the movies!)
    3. Tell the story as if it just happened. 

    Note: You might even want to have your students use a flashlight to read their ghost stories all at once with the lights off (if you happen to have some in print) and cell phone flashlights are a great way to do so. 

    While most of us have big plans to complete Halloween activities over a few days, if we are being realistic, we often are often left to having only a small part of our class to dedicate to those types of activities. For this reason, I created this FREE Halloween Grammar Worksheet

    This grammar activity challenges a student to think critically by selecting the best word that would not otherwise fit into a sentence. In other words, instead of selecting the correct word to use in the sentence, students have to be a bit more careful in their selection by choosing the incorrect term. 

    I get so many questions on WHY I would try to confuse my students when they are already having a hard time. Now, I wouldn't give this activity to a younger student who is truly having a tough time as it is. However, by high school, students should (and I use that term loosely) have a decent grasp on these words. If you give this to your students and they still have a hard time with it, then perhaps this activity would be a great lead into a mini-grammar lesson. Grammar takes years to master. It should be reviewed often, but in my experience, it is not.

    Check out these other Halloween ideas from my fellow Coffee Shop members:
    Back to Top