1-2-3 Come Make A Haunted House Craftivity With Me
Flick off the lights to set the mood, then all you have to do is quietly & slowly say the words, “Haunted House” , and you will have everyone's attention.
No matter what grade I taught, I loved going for that “Gotcha!” moment, to get people excited about writing.
I truly believe that students will be enthusiastic about “getting down to the business of writing”, if you simply give them something interesting and fun to write about.
It’s that simple. Find their “hot button”. If your students are like mine, then a haunted house, is that catalyst in motivating them to WANT to write. Woo Hoo!
With that in mind, I set to work to design two crafty packets involving a haunted house.
First up, 6 writing prompt craftivities for the “Haunted House” packet.
They are all different enough, so that you can easily do several; one in class, one as a fun homework assignment, one for extra credit, a sub tub, or for early finishers etc.
You could also give students a choice.
You may be surprised that they want to do them all.
Student can choose which they want to write about, or you can make this a two-part assignment.
Kiddos can write the ARE portion on one day, and finish up the HAVE prompt the next day.
You could also do one in class, and do the other as homework.
Completed projects turn out "terror-rific"!
I think it's very important to not overwhelm beginning writers.
For example, asking students to write a "spooky story" can be a bit daunting for even a seasoned writer.
To experience this, put yourself in the assignment. Would you want to write an entire story, or would you be more excited to develop a list of things that a haunted house has?
Because it's a smaller chunk of writing, and children can draw from experience, they know the "answers" and feel empowered; so they can get right down to writing; and often very excited to do so!
With that in mind, all of the activities in both packets are "bite size".
Because it's simple yet thought provoking, I think your students will also enjoy "If a haunted house could talk, what might it say?"
There are 5 diffferent "speech bubbles" to add variety to your display, as well as several posters you can use to introduce the lesson, then sprinkle on your bulletin board.
Besides the different posters to help you introduce the lesson, as well as several more to enhance your various displays, I've also included spiderwebbed letters that spell LOOK!
They are 4 1/2 inches & come in 3 styles. (Oh the possibilities...)
I substituted them for the O letters in LOOK.
To expand the lesson, and practice yet another standard, I’ve also included a whole-group graphing extension in both packets.
Next up is the "Trick or Treating at a Haunted House" packet.
To get more bang for my “time” buck, I like to cover a variety of standards with one activity.
“Trick or Treating at a Haunted House”is not only a super-fun writing prompt craftivity, but it also reinforces the 5 senses, and the importance of using them to enhance writing.
Students are trick or treating and they visit a haunted house.
What do they see, hear, feel, taste & smell?
After writing their rough draft, then editing, they fill out a rubric checklist, then write their final draft on the writing prompt worksheet. (I've included RUBRICS in both packets.)
There are 4 different haunted houses for students to choose from, with a TOP & BOTTOM pattern for each. as the 5 senses writing prompt is glued to the center.
There's also a “5 Senses” poster, plus one that defines “Adjectives”.
Use them to introduce your lesson, then add them to your display.
Toss some “cobwebs” in each corner, and you have a “WOW!” bulletin board, sure to get lots of compliments.
As you can see by my samples, "answers" can be a simple sentence for younger students, as well as a more in-depth use of descriptive word choice for older students.
I've also included a "side-by-side" photo of a sample that's very simple, then another that was worked on.
I always try to make time for students to share their work with their classmates, so we popcorn around the room and everyone shares one of their "5 senses sentences" before displaying them in the hallway.
A child's handprints become the "fire" at the top.
I've included a "We promise" pledge poster for children to sign, which helps make students accountable for not playing with fire.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for dropping in.
Autumn is in it's full splendor here in Michigan, so even though it's rather chilly today, I want to grab some fresh air.
Wishing you a fun-filled day.
“I don't know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids!" -Robert Brault
1-2-3 Come Do Some Pumpkin Activities With Me
Make learning how to count and identify numbers, super-fun with pumpkins; which are not only perfect for October, but can still be used throughout November too.
With that in mind, I designed a variety of pumpkin number activities, which will help your students practice counting, number recognition, sequencing, subitizing, sorting, patterning, and one-to-one correspondence.
The packet includes:
You can use them for all sorts of activities, including a variety of games like "Memory Match", "I Have; Who Has?", "Kaboom", "Speed" and "Flip It".
I've included a 4-page tip list, filled with interesting and fun ideas of how to use the cards, including directions for a variety of games.
There are also covers for some of the sets, so that your kiddos can make (just the right size) "Itty Bitty" booklets.
Because of the nice selection of cards, students will also njoy sorting them into "Pumpkin Piles".
For example, children put all the pumpkin cards that represent the number one in a pile; all those that show the number 2 in another pumpkin pile and so on.
To strengthen upper body muscles, have children lie on their tummies and sequence the numbers in long lines. A group of my Y5s enjoyed making a "pumpkin snake" all the way out the door!
I also made a specific set of pumpkin cards to be puzzles. These make a wonderful math center.
There are 5, strip puzzles on a one-page pattern, which makes them "just the right size" for little learners.
Simply snip on the line to cut the number from the matching group of pumpkins. Each line is different, so there's only one way for students to complete the puzzle, which will give them the correct answer.
Another fun way to practice with the cards, is to make Jack. This cute pumpkin pattern is printed on card stock, then laminated.
Cut out the jack-o-lantern's "mouth" and place over the opening of an empty Kleenex box. (There are lots of fall-patterns available. A Boutique box also works).
Pass the pumpkin cards out to your students, then call for the number one pumpkin.
The child holding that card comes up, shows the number to their classmates; everyone says "One", then she "feeds" Jack by dropping the card into his "mouth".
Make a class set of pumpkin "mats" that you can use each year, or run off the worksheet.
My kiddos sit at tables, so I spill a cup of seeds on a paper plate. They each count 10 seeds and put them in their Dixie cup.
When everyone is set, choose a pumpkin number card; show it to your class; they count out that many seeds and place them on their pumpkin mat.
You can see at a glance who is having difficulty. My kiddos LOVE this activity.
Added bonus: pinching & placing pumpkin seeds, is a great fine motor skill that will help strengthen finger muscles.
If you don't have access to pumpkin seeds, simply print, laminate and trim the page of realistic-looking seeds that I've included in the packet.
There are also a nice variety of interesting worksheets as well as "print and go" game sheets, like "I Spy" or "Pumpkins on a Roll" which is played with dice.
Use them for individual and whole group activities, assessing, and math centers; homework, early finishers and help for those who are struggling.
Nice for a substitute, and fun for a harvest celebration or Halloween party day.
I substituted pumpkins for Indians, and included a poster poem "10 Little Pumpkins in a Pumpkin Patch" in the packet.
I make an extra set of the "puzzle" cards, and instead of cutting them apart, I use the whole strip in my pocket chart.
While the concentration in this packet is on numbers 0-10, there are several activities which also include numbers 11-20, so that you can diversify your lessons and add a challenge.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Time for a nature walk and much-needed break.
The fall colors are beautiful here in Michigan.
"October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter." - Nova S. Blair
These Halloween crayon resist coloring pages, are perfect for Halloween party day, or a fun center activity. There are 5 to choose from, with directions of how to set things up.
Midnight Magic, is a quick, easy and fun little ghost craftivity, perfect for Halloween party day. This art is called crayon resist, as the wax in the crayons resist the watercolors. Using a white crayon, (press hard) trace the simple ghost pattern onto squares of white paper. Children will not see the ghost 'til they "wash" their paper with the "magical colors of midnight". To their utter delight, a ghost will appear as they are painting.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Halloween Craftivities With Me
When parents would ask "When does your Halloween party start?" I'd answer with a big smile, "When the children get here, and it lasts all day!" The day before, I'd let my students know that we'd be doing all of our math, reading, writing and center activities as usual, but they'd all have a Halloween theme, so we could "party" all day.
They were then pleased and happy about this, and I wasn't constantly being asked: "When does the party start?" which interrupted everyone's focus. They also remained calm, on-task and weren't all fidgety waiting.
In the 10 years I taught Y5's this day was never a crazy day, instead, it was one of my personal favorites, because I had lots of volunteers eager to help out. We proceeded as normal, with only part of our lights on, to add just the right amount of ambiance. (This also seemed to relax my students.)
They wrote with their "spooky pencil pal" which was quick and super -inexpensive to make. (Directions in the Halloween packet.)
In the afternoon, our snack time would be extra special (cider, fruit, veggies, with some sweets & treats, which parents provided) and to practice and review a variety of standards, we'd play educational games.
I think one of the Y5's favorite parts of the day, were the super-fun centers. Parents would come in to help, so I could plug in a few more craftivities. What took me a bit of time to design and set up, they usually completed in just a few minutes, but that was OK as we had much to accomplish. They were enjoying themselves and learning at the same time.
I share my party day ideas in a Halloween packet, but wanted to dream up a few new ones, as this was one of the first units I did, way before I had all of the cool software programs, fonts, and clip art that I use now, but perhaps you'll find a few things you and your kiddos will enjoy.
These cute dangling ghosts are a quick, easy and fun little something to do on Halloween party day, or as a nice activity to transition to after reading some Halloween-themed stories.
I was "pinspired" by a Family Magazine holiday craft photo. They did not provide a pattern, so I made up my own.
Cutting on a spiral provides wonderful scissor cutting practice, which helps strengthen little finger muscles.
There's an easy ghost pattern with no arms for younger students, and to help out your left handed kiddo's, I've included flipped patterns for them.
Older students can write on the spiral and complete one of these prompts: "Things that are creepy to me are . . ." or "Things that I'm a bit afraid of are . . ."
As you can see by the photo, these look awesome dangling from the ceiling, where they'll twirl and swirl.
Click on the link to view/download the Spooky Spirals Halloween ghost writing prompt craftivity.
Another Halloween craft that I found several versions of on Pinterest, was a photo of a child in a pumpkin.
These too, did not offer a pattern, so I provide one in my Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater craftivity packet.
There's a blank pumpkin, one that says: "Happy Halloween from your little pumpkin" as well as one with the nursery rhyme written on it that I revamped.
"Teacher, teacher pumpkin eater. Had a student couldn't reach her. Put _________ in a pumpkin shell and there she taught her very well." (Female and male options.) I've included a poster of the original Nursery Rhyme.
Midnight Magic, is also a quick, easy and fun little ghost craftivity, perfect for Halloween party day because it's super-simple and has that "Oh Wow!" factor.
This art is called crayon resist, as the wax in the crayons resist the watercolors. I've taken a picture of the 3 steps of how it looks.
Using a white crayon, (press hard) trace the simple ghost pattern onto squares of white paper. Children will not see the ghost 'til they "wash" their paper with the "magical colors of midnight". To their utter delight, a ghost will appear as they are painting.
Although an all-black wash is effective, I think the ones where children used purple, blue and black turned out better. I did a ghost, but any simple shape (pumpkins, candy corn, or bat) would do.
I've also done these with children's names. Click on the link to view/download the Midnight Magic Halloween watercolor craftivity.
In the Halloween Crayon Resist packet, I've included 5 coloring pages for kiddos to choose from, along with directions of how to set things up.
Finally, another quick painting craftivity, is Alphie Andy the candy corn alphabet cup. I used styrofoam cups, orange and yellow acrylic paint and a black ink pen to make these fun "I Spy a Letter!" game "twirlers".
Students can add a face to the top white section, or leave it plain. First graders can write their own letters on the top of the cups, but I'd do this for younger kiddos. (I did a class set while watching TV. Takes a minute or two per cup.)
It's not at all difficult, but little ones have a tendency to write large, so they won't be able to fit all of the letters around the rim. When you make yours, look at my photo. Letters need to be close, with a small space.
Remember the cup is upside down when you write the letters on the rim. Add a second cup so you have a sturdier surface to write on.
You can keep this simple and just make cups with the uppercase letters on them, or "double up" and add an additional cup with the lowercase letters. This way, you can review more than one standard. When you call out a letter, students twirl their uppercase letter cup til their arrow lines up with that letter; then they twirl the lowercase letter cup, so that letter matches up with the uppercase one.
Students literally take 2 minutes to paint a yellow and orange stripe on their cup. (Make sure they write their name on the bottom.) Set aside to dry. Add an arrow, insert cup(s) and play "I Spy!" It's a quick, easy and fun way to whole group assess. Children hold up their cup when they've found the correct letter and have the arrow pointing to it. Click on the link to view/download Alphie Andy, the Candy Corn Alphabet Assessment Cup craft.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. Have to go check my apple-crisp bars. The cinnamon scent is wafting through the house and smells delicious. Wishing you a warm-fuzzy kind of day.
"Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." -- Louis D. Brandeis