Celebrating holidays in school is one of my fondest memories as a grade school student. Parents made latkes for Hanukkah, we gifted each other with candy canes at Christmas, and we got dressed up to parade around our gym during Halloween.
It seems like I can’t do those same holiday-related activities with my students because:
1. standards based teaching doesn’t include holidays,
2. there are tighter restrictions on bringing in outside food,
3. I teach high school. Those brooding, mood-swinging, music loving, I-know-better-than-you teens.
But I did it anyway. The Halloween Project covers standards, gets in cooperative learning, and lets even high school kids enjoy a holiday (even if they insist on wearing the hood up on their black hoodie while in front of the class).
The Halloween Project
|Students will be able to (SWBAT) write events of a story in chronological order.|
|Prep: PowerPoint set up, or photocopied examples for students to look at.|
|Step #||Procedure||Time (minutes)||Other Notes|
|1||Explain assignment.||5 – 7||If you’re excited and actually rap the example, the students will be more excited. (This is mostly because you are now a rapping teacher, which they think is hilarious.)|
|2||Students pick their partners.||2||You can assign partners if you’re worried some students will be left out.|
|3||Planning time||10||Students use a plot map to plan the order of events for their story.|
|4||Writing time||30 – 45||This can be split into two days if needed.|
|5||Performances: Go over good audience behaviors and give a listening assignment.||15 – 25||Good audience: clap, look at the performers, don’t talk. Listening: What is the climax? List 3 events from the performance.|
|Modifications: Students can work with more than just one partner, or students can work on their own if they prefer.|
|More Time? Discuss the history of Halloween.|
|Still More Time? Brainstorm safe Halloween tips.|
|Stillll More Time? Students can put together a children’s book, or an A-Z list, of safe Halloween tips.|
My high schoolers were able to get into this since they got to basically choose their assignment and partners. Though creative, their work was rather gruesome (lots of blood splattered walls and decapitations). Where do they come up with this stuff?