Halloween Fun for Middle School ELA (Yes You Can!)

When it comes to holidays with older students, the question is, ignore them or embrace them? Personally, I still love holidays and I am thirty-four! So I say, embrace them. 

The crux of the issue is that you have to make sure your holiday fun still gets a job done for your students as they get older. Gone are the days of coloring pumpkins while eating ghost cookies, but you can still have holiday decorations and activities.

When you're teaching literary devices, teach them with ghostly examples. If you're practicing writing theses, have them read some Edgar Allen Poe. Vocab Quiz sentences and stories suddenly involve more trick-or-treaters and black cats if you tweak your prompts. 

A great way to incorporate Halloween decor into your classroom is through a book display. Whether it's a fun bulletin board like this one from the Library News Wikispace

or a funny addition to some stacks of good books on your shelves like this one from Nicole Thomas at the Reading Underground

students will enjoy the variety and hopefully be more tempted to grab a good book to boot. 

By middle school, it's too late for costume parades, but that doesn't mean you can't encourage students to dress up a bit. Why not hold a contest to see who can come up with the best character costume? Students might dress up as Huck Finn, Hermione Granger, or Katniss Everdeen. Or maybe  you could give a prize to the student who dresses up most effectively as an actual book? Designing book cover costumes could be a fantastic project for the month of October - and what a display the costumes would make in the library come November! 

Teacher costumes are always a nice addition too. My dad dressed up to teach his college sociology classes, and his students loved it. So middle-school teachers need not fear that their students are too old. I love this list of grade-level team costumes from Keeping up with Mrs. Harris. Buzzfeed provides great inspiration too, with its roundup of 31 Amazing Teacher Costumes

However you choose to spend October with your students, I hope Halloween finds a place somewhere! Because who doesn't love a little bit of fun as the seasons change? 


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