- To integrate cultural awareness into the course
- To introduce / practise Halloween related vocabulary – cat, hat, bat, witch, ghost, pumpkin, black, etc.
- To work on pronunciation and rhyming sounds
- To get children used to following simple instructions to make easy craft objects
- Pre-made bingo cards (one per person) plus a call card for yourself - you can make some here: http://www.dltk-cards.com/bingo/bingo1.asp
- Flashcards of ‘cat’, ‘hat’, ‘bat’, ‘black’, etc.
- Picture cards of cats, hats, bats, witches, ghosts and pumpkins – one per child
- For a spider mobile you will need:
- black pipe cleaners
- black paper
- two coat hangers
- small circles of red or white paper
- For lanterns you will need:
- orange paper/card
- For witches hats/wands you will need:
- black paper/card
- foil to decorate
- coloured paper to decorate
Before the children come into the room or if they are already there before your lesson starts then simply go to the board and draw a picture of a witch or pumpkin or other Halloween symbol on the board. Elicit from the children what is special about today or what is going to be celebrated very soon, depending on what day you teach them. Ask them to tell you about how they celebrate Halloween. This can be done in their own language if they are very young. You can then mention ‘costumes’ and ‘trick or treat’ if these two elements haven’t already been mentioned.
Stage 1: Vocabulary
The number of words you use will depend on the age of your children. This is first to see how many words they already recognise.
- Stick your flashcards of Halloween words around the room.
- Depending on the number of children you have and the space you have this can be done in different ways. When you call out a word, e.g. ‘cat’, the children can either point to the picture of a cat or go and stand next to the flashcard.
- They may discover all of the words this way by following the leader if at least one child knows all of the words. However you will quickly see which words, e.g. pumpkin, they don’t know and you yourself can hint or point to two alternative cards, e.g. ‘cat’ and ‘pumpkin’, while saying ‘pumpkin’ so that they are still in control and choosing.
Stage 2: Rhyming sounds
This is to practise the sounds of some of the words they’ve seen in Stage 1.
- Distribute picture cards of cats, hats, bats and witches.
- Give one to each child telling them to stick it to the palm of their hand.
- They should then wave their hands to the rest of the class and go and sit next to someone who has a card that sounds the same as theirs. Explain that not everyone will have a partner and if they can’t find anyone with a matching sound they should sit in an allocated area.
- The only rule is that they can’t sit with someone who has the same picture as them.
- Feedback as a class with each couple saying out loud what is on their picture card. This way they are producing the sounds themselves. The rest of the class should decide if the two words rhyme or not.
- There should be a group of witches left over. Ask the children to check (by saying out loud witch, cat, hat and bat) that witch doesn’t rhyme with any of the other words.
Stage 3: Bingo
This classic activity shouldn’t need too much introduction. It reinforces word recognition while creating a sense of fun and motivation for concentration and listening.
- Distribute a bingo card to each card.
- Distribute small squares of paper so that the game cards can be used several times rather than have the children draw crosses on the pictures.
- Once you have played a couple of times choose a confident volunteer to come and take your place as caller.
- If appropriate you could even have some ‘treats’ for this activity. However, by the end of the lesson everyone should have a treat to be fair.
Stage 4: Song
If it is possible to gather the children around you in an open space rather than sitting behind their desks this will create a more relaxed atmosphere and indicate to the children that there is a change of pace and activity.
- Hand out copies of the song from www.dltk-holidays.com/halloween/three_black_cats_song.htm
- The song should be sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice. You can hum the tune first, then they can join in starting quietly and slowly getting louder. This helps with arousing interest, listening and producing the right intonation and rhythm.
- You could change the word ‘goblins’ to ‘witches’ to avoid introducing any more new words as you will need to explain ‘brew’. This can be done easily by referring back to your original picture of a witch on the board. Add a cauldron with bubbles coming out of it and point saying, ‘This is a witch's brew’.
- Once the children are confident with the song you can introduce actions and for the older classes you can try to sing in a round splitting the class into two groups.
Stage 5: Craft
You can choose one of the following crafts to do with your class. The one you choose will depend on how many students you have, how much space you have and how much time you have with the children.
- Spider mobile
Prepare in advance one piece of string per child and one circle of black paper with a small hole in the middle.
- Each child can help themselves to four pipe cleaners and then they cut them in half.
- Demonstrate how to stick them to their circle of black paper with sellotape.
- They can then use the glue to stick on the red circles for eyes.
- Then they can thread their pieces of string through the hole ready to tie onto the coat hangers.
- Each child should tie their own spider onto the mobile when they have finished.
- This can then be displayed.
You should practise making this before class and have one to demonstrate each step.
- Give each child a sheet of A4 orange paper or card. Show them how to fold it down the middle lengthwise.
- Then with the paper still folded they should cut about seven straight lines every 2 cms along the paper, starting from the fold and leaving about 2 cms before the edge.
- Then open out the paper and fold it round into a lantern shape.
- You should attach the top and bottom together with a stapler or they can do this themselves with sellotape.
- Give each child another strip of paper to make a handle and attach it to the top of the lantern.
- They can then decorate their lanterns.
- Witch's hat
- Give each child a sheet of A3 black card which they should roll into a cone and stick together with a piece of sellotape. The younger ones will need help with this.
- They can decorate their hats with foil and coloured card.
- Each child can then attach a piece of string to the hat using sellotape while holding the hat onto the heads. They will need a partner to help them do this. Put them into pairs before they start making their hats so that they can help each other.
- Witch's wand
- This can be made in the same way as the hat except that the children only need a sheet of A4 paper that should be rolled lengthwise. They could choose the colour they want.
- Using the song and the witch's crafts each child can make up their own ‘brew’. They can do this by drawing pictures of all the ingredients they want to put into the cauldron, or they can make a recipe and write down what the brew will do if they are older.
- They should also record the new words into their books. This they can do by matching the pictures to words on their homework sheet and drawing a line from the picture to the word.
Follow up suggestions
- Using the rhyming sounds you could compose a class Halloween poem.
- For older children they could compose their own poem in small groups and then present it to the class.