Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Halloween Themed Lesson Ideas for Senior Classes

Here are some Halloween based lesson ideas that I have used with 3rd, 4th and 5th Class around Halloween, both this year and last. I hope you find them helpful, especially over the next few days when it can be difficult to get the children to focus on anything but the midterm break!

English: Poetry
There are many different poems you can do with your children based on Halloween. This year I did a poem from the 5th class Reading Zone Teacher's Manual, called 'Halloween Night'. What I like to do with poems based on this theme is get the children to create and then perform a dramatic/expressive reading of the poem in small groups, following a discussion of vocabulary, themes and images in the poem. One member of the group reads the poem with expression while other group members make various sound effects in the background. They can even learn off the poem and create actions to accompany their performance!

English: Creative Writing:
Focus on recipes as a theme of writing with the children. Read various examples, highlight features of a recipe, brainstorm 'cooking/baking' vocabulary, make a recipe, write it down together as a class (modelling the structure of the writing genre) and finally get them to come up with their own imaginary witches' potion recipe. Make sure to encourage them to be creative with ingredients and give them access to their 'cooking terms' word wall while creating their recipes!

English: Oral Language: 
Get the children involved in storytelling by getting them to tell some scary stories to the class. Discuss the characteristics of a good storyteller along with what makes a scary story different from a feel good story, a funny story, etc. Note some of these ideas on the board so they keep them in mind while creating their own stories. The children can then create a short spooky story in their copies (ensuring to have a definite beginning, middle and end). In pairs, they can read each other their story and get advice from their partner as to how to make it 'spookier' or more dramatic. Give them an opportunity to memorise their stories, reassuring them that they don't have to remember them word for word. Get some of the children to tell their story from memory to the class using dramatic pauses, different tones of voice for different parts of the story and raising and lowering their voice to suit the story's progression.

Gaeilge: Foclóir agus Dán:
Teach them some Halloween vocabulary (which you can download from Seomra Ranga) by playing Cluiche Kim, Biongó, etc. Get them to write a short paragraph about Halloween, answering these questions: An maith leat Oíche Shamhna? An bhfuil tú ag gleasadh suas d'Oíche Shamhna? An bhfuil do chara ag gleasadh suas d'Oíche Shamhna? An bhfuil tú ag dul ag imirt bob nó bia? These phrases can also be used in a comhrá beirte.
You can also teach and get them to perform the poem Oíche Shamhna (from Seomra Ranga):

Science: The Skeletal System: 
Discuss the functions of a person's skeletal system and what joints do. Teach them a song to help them remember the different bone names, such as this one from YouTube (with actions):
Do an internet scavenger hunt to search for more information about the skeletal system and get them to fill in the information found on a writing frame like this one:

History: Stone Age Burial Customs:
Use the Power Point below to get the children to discuss and write about what they think each building/monument was used for (include some pair discussion here as well!). Then go through each picture (monument) and discuss and name it. At the end, get the children to write down a sentence about something new they learned about each tomb. (These lesson activities are outlined further in the Power Point!).

P.E: Thriller Dance:
Teach a simple version of Michael Jackson's Thriller:

Drama: Spooky Stories
In groups, create a spooky, Halloween themed improvisation and perform it for the class.

Sing the song 'Disco in the Dark' (The Right Note) and artistically respond to some spooky film music too!

I hope you find these ideas useful this week and don't forget you can check out some ideas for Halloween Art projects in my previous post: Halloween Art Lesson Ideas.
Happy Halloween!

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