“Guess the weight of the giant pumpkin and win a prize!” That’s how one school on Long Island creates Halloween excitement all the students can enjoy. A local farmer grew a huge pumpkin and donated it to the school. Leaving it in the hallway outside the main office, each student has the opportunity to guess its weight. They write their guess on a piece of paper along with their name, hand it in to their teacher, and the teacher submits all the entries to the main office. The student who guesses the weight correctly (or as close as possible) wins a prize.
Need more than a giant pumpkin to excite the students? Why not log onto any one of a number of Halloween Web sites to find craft items, games and educational activities to bring to your classroom. Students in grades K-6 are sure to find an activity to keep them busy while getting into the Halloween spirit.
You might like to teach your students a little bit about the history of Halloween. Talk to them about how the holiday evolved from the days of the Ancient Celts growing enough food to last them throughout the winter, to the modern traditions of wearing costumes and carving pumpkins. Students can then write their own essay on the subject. They could also write a fictional story about Halloween and incorporate elements from its history with how they celebrate the day today.
Be mindful of children who do not celebrate the holiday. Some students may wish to do a different activity or sit in another classroom while Halloween discussions are taking place. If so, accommodate them by either sending them to another classroom or having a backup lesson ready and waiting. You can easily substitute fall activities for Halloween activities. Writing, games and coloring can all be modified so that all can partake in the classroom learning.
Of course, no Halloween at school would be complete without the traditional parade of costumes in the afternoon. Taking place either inside the building or outside in the parking lot on a sunny Halloween afternoon, students from K-5 can dress up in their Halloween finest while their parents’ watch and cheer. Your school may even throw a party in the evening. This is a good opportunity to bring the community together and prevent any mischief that older kids might otherwise endeavor. No matter what you choose to do this Halloween, enjoy the day with your students and children. From spiders, to bats, to big, black cats…it’s the most spooktacular day of the year!