Halloween is not as popular in Korea as it is in other countries, but some hagwons and schools here hold Halloween parties and festivals for students. Halloween is one of my favorite school events to prepare for because there are a lot of activities that I can incorporate in my lessons. I’m going to share some of these activities.
Let’s get the ball rolling! ^^
WHAT’S IN THE MYSTERY BOX?
This has been a favorite of my students. I’ve used it as a springboard for teaching the five senses and for describing objects.
WHAT TO PREPARE:
A box (The size depends on the items you are going to put in the box.)
Paper for wrapping (It can be colored paper, leftover gift wrap, newspaper, etc.)
Halloween-themed objects (For example: scary masks, furry item as werewolf’s tail, cooked spaghetti as worm, gelatine as slime, old T-shirt splattered with ketchup to make it look bloody, dried chicken bone as part of a skeleton, Halloween decorations, etc.)
HOW TO PREPARE:
Wrap the box to make it look presentable. Make a small hole on top of the box just large enough for a hand to squeeze through. Draw question marks around the box. Place all the objects in the box.
HOW TO PLAY:
Have students take turns in touching one of the objects in the box. Encourage the student to describe the object by using expressions like “It feels… It sounds…” The student can move or shake the object inside the box to have an idea of what it sounds like, but he can’t take it out until he gives at least three descriptions. The rest of the class tries to guess what the object is. The student who guesses the object gets a candy. If no one can guess what the object is, ask the student to show it to class. The class describes the object using other expressions such as “It looks… It smells…” You can’t ask a student to taste random objects, so prepare something that can be eaten (for example: a candy, a chocolate, worm jelly, etc.), so “It tastes…” can also be used in making descriptions.
What’s great about this activity is that you can use it for elementary and middle school students. With my younger students (Grades 1 to 3), I give them a pictionary and have them cut and glue pictures randomly on their bingo cards. I don’t ask them to write down the words, because younger students take a lot of time to write; some can barely read. Besides, the little ones enjoy cutting and gluing. Bogglesworldesl is a great site to find Halloween printables. They even have a bingo card generator, so your students don’t have to cut and glue pictures or write down words on their bingo cards. If you have a smaller class, I suggest you use the bingo card generator, but if you’re printing cards for 20 students or more (let’s say, for your public school classes), it would be better to use an empty bingo card.
My 4th to 6th graders enjoy word searches, so I have them do word search before they write the terms on their bingo cards. Islcollective has tons of these word searches. On the other hand, I give my middle school students crosswords and have them select words to jot down on their bingo cards.
WHAT TO PREPARE:
Worksheets (vocabulary/pictionary/word search/crossword)
I’m not going to give a how-to, since everyone knows how to play bingo, but here are some tips:
- Say the first word.
- Have students take turns saying a word.
- Give students tidbits of information about the words or ask them questions as you play the game. This is an excellent way to review their vocabulary and encourage speaking.
- It’s up to you how many bingos they should make. I usually require them to make 3 bingos.
- The first student/students to make 3 bingos gets/get a bigger prize or more candies.
This is more suitable for upper grade and middle school classes, because you’ll be showing the students pictures of scary movie characters. You know how the younger ones easily get frightened.
This activity is perfect for teaching adjectives or adjective phrases.
WHAT TO PREPARE
Pictures of well-known scary movie characters like Anabelle, the clown from the movie “It”, Chucky, Samara or Sadako from “The Ring” etc.
*** I’ve prepared a PowerPoint Presentation for this game. If you’d like to use it, feel free to comment or message me.
HOW TO PLAY
Group students. Each member should get a chance to answer. You can assign each member a number and ask, let’s say, all number 1 members to stand and put their hands up. Show part of a scary movie character’s face and describe that character. Say “Guess who?” as a signal for students to clap their hands if they want to answer. The student who claps his hands first gets to answer. If the answer is correct, you give the group a point. The group with the most number of points gets the price. After someone guesses who the character is, you can show the character’s whole face and ask students questions like “What does he/she look like?”, “What is he/she wearing?”, “What is he/she holding?”, etc.
Below is the video I used for this activity…
I had the students watch the video first, then we prepared the ingredients and materials and started making candy apples. Our candy apples were not as impressive as the ones in the video, but the students had so much fun making (and eating) them.
- Stay away from caramel! Just use chocolate or syrup. Removing hardened caramel from the dishes and other utensils was a backbreaking task!
- Assign chores in groups, so after the fun, you won’t end up cleaning everything by yourself. (My students were awesome!)
PAPER BAG MASKS
Lower grade classes will surely enjoy this activity. I used it for the first time as part of my lesson on “can” and “can’t”, but in one of my classes in the hagwon last year, it was one of my Halloween activities.
WHAT TO PREPARE
Paper bags (large enough to have a student fit his hand in it)
HOW TO PREPARE
Tell students a brief story about Frankenstein. Prepare visuals. Tell students that they will be creating their own monster out of a paper bag. Show them samples. (You can make your own mask or find some in the internet.)
AFTER MAKING THE MASKS
For smaller classes, have students talk about their monsters one-by-one. Afterwards, the class chooses the best monster who will get a candy or a prize.
For bigger classes, divide the class in groups. Have them sit in circles according to group. Members take turns in presenting their monsters. Each group chooses the best monster. The chosen members line up in front of the class after the presentation, so the entire class can see their masks. The class votes for the best mask. The winner gets a bigger prize. The others get consolation prizes.
SCARY MOVIE PRODUCTION
This activity is intended for classes in the intermediate or advanced level of English proficiency. I’ve used this activity in my 5th grade classes. They vary in level of proficiency, but most of them can write simple essays and stories.
WHAT TO PREPARE
If you want it to be more exciting, you can have students make simple props, too. Provide color paper and coloring materials.
WHAT I DID
When I gave my students this activity, I showed them a picture of a haunted house, asked them how they would feel and what they would do if they were in that house. I gave them a script and asked them to finish the story. (If you want a copy of this script, message me. I’d be more than willing to share. ^^)
I assigned groups and gave them ample time to write their scripts and practise how to deliver their lines.
We didn’t have a lot of time, so I skipped prop making and did not require students to memorize their lines.
I always end my classes with a short Halloween clip before or during Halloween party or festival. When we have more time, I play a movie or an animation. Below are some suggestions:
I hope you find this article useful. If you have other Halloween activities to share, you may include them in the comment section.