Happy Halloween from the team at LearnEnglish Kids! There are lots of activities for Halloween on our site and you will find most of the content here:
On this page you will find information about new content as well as tips and ideas for using and extending the activities in the classroom.
Halloween your turn
We would like to find out how our learners celebrate Halloween. The Your Turn section gives our registered members the chance to see their writing published on our website: http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/your-turn/halloween
If you want to know more about how children can register on the site and publish their comments and short texts have a look at this tip: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/try/teaching-kids/publish-writing-lear...
New content in our Halloween bag of tricks!
We’ve got a few topical items to add to the Halloween bag of tricks this year. There’s a Word of the Week video introducing a very spooky word! http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/word-the-week/spooky
You’ll even find a few topic jokes which your students might enjoy as a light-hearted introduction to the topic.
If you fancy a tongue twister, here’s one with a wicked witch theme: http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/tongue-twisters/two-witches
The scary skeleton song
- Tell your learners they're going to listen to a song about a Scary Skeleton. Ask them what a skeleton is made of. Can they feel the bones in their hands, fingers, legs, feet? How many bones do they think they have in their bodies?! Take a guess! (Adults have approximately 206 bones, a baby has 270!)
- Now ask your learners to touch the different parts of the body in sequence with the words in the song: ‘Touch your head, shoulders, neck, eyes, mouth, nose, ears, body, legs, feet, toes, knees, fingers, hand.' Demonstrate as you say the words, and then repeat with just the words to ensure that your learners recognise the different parts of the body. Play the song and ask your learners to touch the parts of the body when they hear them-you might have to play the song two or three times!
- You could now ask your learners to touch the different parts of the body out of sequence, or play ‘Simon says', for example, "Simon says ‘Touch your feet!'" "Touch your nose!" Your learners must only do the action when the action is preceded by the words "Simon says".
- Another follow-up activity might be to print off and complete The Skeleton worksheet by labelling the correct parts of the bony body! An alternative activity is to label the dinosaur on The Scary Skeleton worksheet and play the ‘Make a skeleton' dice game.
As a final activity your learners could draw and label their own picture. Depending on the age and height of your students, a life-size version can be great fun-just ask your students to lie down on 2 or 3 poster size paper and draw around them!
The haunted house story
- Before reading the story The Haunted House, you could introduce key lexis by asking your learners about their home. Can they name all of the rooms? What's in the kitchen/ bathroom /study? Now read, listen and engage your learners in the pages of the story. Ask them, for example, who the two children are (your learners can give them names of their choice) or why Bob got a fright. What does thunder sound like? Are they frightened of thunder? Which room will the children go into first? What will they find? Which room will they go into next? Would they go inside a haunted house? Why/not?
- After the story, you could play a memory game with your learners, for example, ‘What was in the bathroom/ study?' (an octopus/a cat), ‘Where was the octopus/cat?' (in the bathroom/lab). They could then complete the printable worksheet The Haunted House, or read and draw the scary characters in the haunted house-Activities to print: Haunted Houses.
- Finally, take it in turns to play ‘I-Spy'. If there's a table in the room, for instance, you could say, "I spy with my little eye something beginning with ‘t'". Your learners now guess what you can see beginning with the letter ‘t'.
- Alternatively, play the online game Haunted House, Levels 1 and 2, and see what your learners can spy in the
haunted house! http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-games-haunted-house.htm
- If your learners enjoyed this story, why not encourage them to make up a horror story of their own, with the help of Story Maker: http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-writing-storymaker.htm
The magic spell story
- Generate interest in the story by asking learners questions about magic spells. For example, who makes magic spells? What do wizards and witches use spells for? What ingredients do they put into their pots and cauldrons? What do they say as they mix the ingredients? What do they think would happen if a spell went wrong? Can your learners make a magic spell? Do they wish they didn't have to go to school?
- After the story your learners could complete the printable The Magic Spell worksheet and draw and write recipes for the Teacher's and the Witch's Magic Spells!
- Younger learners will also enjoy Paint it! Can they help the witch make her magic spell? Can they paint the scary ingredients the correct colour? Read and listen to find out! http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/language-games/paint-it/ma...
- Now it's your learners' chance to make their own spells and make their wishes come true! What do they wish they could do, or didn't have to do? What will they put into their cauldron? A sweaty shoe? Some football stickers? All their school tests? http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/practise-your-english/make...
Halloween word games
- There are lots of language games with a Halloween theme. Tell your learners they're going to play a Halloween word game. Draw a spidergram and see if they can add a Halloween word or picture to each of the legs. Now play the Halloween words game and see if your learners can match the scary pictures with the words! How many of the words match your spidergram? http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-games-pelmanism-halloween.htm
- If your students enjoy project work, they could plan and prepare their own Halloween party! They might like to decorate their room with black and orange paper chains cut in the shape of bats and pumpkins, for example, or design their own personal party invitations. On pages 4 and 5 of the Practise your English section in ‘Read and Write’ you’ll find a printable activity called Halloween Party where they can find some great party ideas, from costume-making (how about a fancy dress show with a prize for the scariest costume?!), to Halloween games and recipes for party food and drinks! Why not let them create monstrous menus and make the food and drink themselves?! http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/sites/kids/files/attachment/h...
- Finally, don't forget some 'Trick-or-treating'! A ketchup, pepper and yoghurt cocktail would make a terrible 'trick' for an unlucky victim, but a toffee apple - what a treat!
By Carolyne Ardron, with updates from Jo Budden
When you have used some of these ideas, why not come back to this page and leave a comment below to tell us how your class went. Let us know too if you have any additional ideas!
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