One thing I’ve always really loved about teaching is being able to incorporate festivals/holidays into whatever I’m teaching . Talking about festivals that are celebrated back at home often has a powerful way of making you feel a bit less like an alien when living and working abroad, and it adds an interesting extra cultural element for your students. Halloween is fast approaching, and this week I’m going to provide a roundup of some of my favourite Halloween resources for teaching kids, teens and adults. In today’s post, it’s all about the kids.
If you’re teaching older kids and looking for a simple description of the history and background of Halloween, I really like some of the texts on the CBBC website (British children’s TV channel). Although they’re aimed at native speakers, it wouldn’t take too long to simplify a few words and create some comprehension questions. You can find the history of Halloween here, a short text about pumpkins/jack o’lanterns here, and a text about trick or treating here.
There’s also a simple cloze activity about Halloween and how it is celebrated at Enchanted Learning.
For those with access to an interactive whiteboard, the British Council Kids’ website has lots of games themed around Halloween, covering topics such as Halloween vocabulary and parts of the body. There are also craft activities and flashcards to download: http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/category/topics/halloween
There are a wide range of different activities over at Lanternfish. I particularly like ‘Haunted House Drawing’, which practises both Halloween vocabulary (especially if you add a flashcard activity to pre-teach the vocab) and prepositions of place. I’ve done variants of this activity several times before, but as a drawing dictation rather than handing out a written list of instructions.
If you’ve decided to have a Halloween party with your class, there are lots of ideas for games here: http://www.eslkidstuff.com/HalloweenGames.htm. You can also find some ideas for simple craft activities (which would work well with VYLs) at the bottom of the page.
onestopenglish.com is another of my favourite resource sites, and as expected it has some helpful Halloween resources for a variety of different age groups. I like some elements of Foka Eline’s Halloween lesson (plan can be found here) – my young learners would love saying the vocabulary ‘as a witch’, ‘as a monster’ etc, and moving around the classroom like different Halloween ‘creatures’. I’ve taught Jessica Watson’s ‘Daily Routine’ lesson before, and it’s a nice way to both include elements of Halloween and to still feel as if you and your students are getting some work done! Lisa Dold’s ‘Make a Monster’ lesson sounds fun (students are sure to love the plasticine element of it!) and will also give students good practice of describing body parts. For a longer lesson this could be combined with some of the British Council Kids material on Halloween/body parts.
Will you be celebrating Halloween with your students this year? What will you be doing?