Do you remember the days when we had Halloween parties in class? The chaos, the costumes, the mess, the fun we all had? Well, if you are teaching online this year, that’s all gone. Now it’s sedately sitting in front of our computers, day after day, and the days are blurring together.
Clever people are busy creating clever online alternatives to being together in class, but it just isn’t the same. Create a costume? Dress up? I don’t know about you, but not much could make me climb out of my sweat pants anymore.
But it’s Halloween, the hands-down coolest festival of the year. It’s not just a fun celebration of candy and costumes and all things sweet and spooky, but a chance to be someone else, anything that you can imagine, just for a day.
Halloween is teaching gold. For one day, students can imagine themselves as someone else. It’s a safe, socially approved of occasion to play with social norms without actually challenging them. It’s a carnivalesque opportunity to defy convention, without being defiant.
How can we retain the rich opportunities afforded by this holiday? Can we make our online classrooms a place where our students can explore their place in the world and what it means to be themselves? Is it still possible to achieve this, without the chaos, costumes fun and mess of an actual class?
Yes! Here are some free, fun, online Halloween resources designed to make the most of this teaching opportunity, and to celebrate the best day of the year.
Select a warm up:
Pre-teach the vocabulary:
Practice making sentences:
Writing and speaking:
Students choose any character from the Halloween Sentence Salad and write a short story about him or her. Then the teacher organizes a role-play where the students can act as their characters.
This can be adapted into a fun speaking activity. Ask them to guess what each of the idioms mean. Students can then vote on which definition they think is most likely correct. Students get one point for a correct answer, and a point for each time someone votes for their answer.
Play our Halloween Kahoot:
Go to Kahoot.com.
Create a free Kahoot account in order to access the search function.
Search for Exhibit A English Club Spooky Halloween Challenge.
As teachers, we tap into these opportunities by giving our students a space where they can imagine themselves in a different life. We do this every day, when we value the creativity and ingenuity of our students. Maybe Halloween is a reminder that we can do it better, that we can all change, get to know ourselves better, and help to make the world a better place. Or at least change out of our sweat pants into a more interesting costume once and awhile.
I’d love to hear how you are overcoming the limitations of online learning and making the most of your classes.
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Exhibit A English Club