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Build Halloween Vocabulary with Word Games

October 15, 2008 · Filed Under Holidays, Reading, Writing · Comment 

Holidays are wonderful motivators for learning and one of the best is Halloween.  A lot of natural excitement surrounds the celebration, and you can tap into this by trying some descriptive writing and word games.  Here are related activity ideas for a variety of age groups.

 

Young Students (K-2)

 

Try some seasonal alliterations.  See how long of phrases or sentences your students can build, orally or in writing, that are related to Halloween.  Alliterative phrases and sentences have the same beginning sound on most or even all of the words.  Hold a contest with awards for longest, most syllables, most creative, and so forth.  Need an example to get you started?  Six spooky spirits sip sassparilla!

 

Play a memory game.  Start the group off with a simple subject-verb sentence like “The cat sat.”  Now, have players take turns adding a word or phrase and saying the entire sentence.  In our example, steps might include:

            The black cat sat.

            The skinny black cat sat.

            The skinny black cat sat on the fence.

            The witch’s skinny black cat sat on the fence.

How long will it get?

 

Middle Elementary Students (gr. 3-4)

 

Do a seasonal fill-in game.  Choose a Halloween story and underline every third to tenth word.  Make a list of the parts of speech (noun, verb, etc.) and any inflective endings (-ed, -ing, -es, etc.).  Have players choose fill in words based on the parts of speech guide without knowing the story.  Substitute their answers for the original underlined words.

 

Create some holiday riddles.  Have your students choose a common Halloween item and write four to six clues to help someone else guess it.  Arrange the clues from toughest to easiest, then have a friend try the puzzle.  Here’s an example: I am long and thin.  I am wooden.  I have a prickly end.  I belong to the witch.  I fly.  (a broom).  For an extra challenge, see if the clues can rhyme, like a poem.

 

Upper Elementary Students (gr. 5-6)

 

Finish a Halloween story.  Have each student write a seasonal story starter with at least ten sentences.  Trade with a partner, then finish the story with at least twenty more sentences.

 

Make a Halloween dictionary.  Generate at least fifty words related to the season.  Alphabetize them and write definitions.  Illustrate at least twenty of the entries.

 

Middle and High School (gr. 7-12)

 

Make a Halloween crossword puzzle.  Think of at least 25 Halloween words.  Come up with a unique clue for each one.  Use graph paper to place the words into interlocking positions.  Number each box containing the first letter of a word.  Number the clues to match the box number where the word begins.  Trace the boxes onto blank graph paper and write the numbers and clues.

 

Write a description for Halloween.  You can use a Halloween scene as a prompt or have students create from scratch.  Challenge them to write a descriptive essay with at least five paragraphs.  Remind them to appeal to all five senses, helping the reader see, hear, touch, taste and smell the scene.

 

Halloween can be controversial.  Have your students write a persuasive essay politely expressing their opinion about the holiday and its practices.  Insist that statements of opinion be supported by factual reasons, and that personal opinions be clearly identified as such.

 

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October Holiday Fun

October 2, 2008 · Filed Under Holidays · Comment 

October is so much more than Halloween!  It’s also:

Children’s Magazine Month

Dyslexia Awareness Month

Global Diversity Awareness Month

National Bake and Decorate Month

National Reading Group Month

Positive Attitude Month

Squirrel Awareness Month

Vegetarian Month. 

 

You can participate in

The Magic of Differences Week, Mystery Series Week, or National Metric Week (all the first full week of the month),  and Kids’ Goal Setting Week during the second week of the month.

 

National School Lunch Week and Teen Read Week are during the third week of the month, Freedom of Speech Week and World Rain Forest Week are also during the third week of the month, and the fourth week of the month brings Kids Care Week, National Character Counts Week, and International Magic Week. 

 

Here are some daily celebrations to liven up learning and tickle your funny bone:

 

October 1…………………Balloons around the World

October 2…………………Phileas Fogg’s Wager Day

                …………………National Custodial Workers Day

                …………………Name Your Car Day

October 3…………………World Smile Day

October 4…………………World Card Making Day

October 5…………………Intergeneration Day

               ………………….World Teachers Day

               ………………….National Storytelling Festival

October 6…………………Mad Hatter Day

                …………………World Habitat Day

October 7…………………National Frappe Day

October 8…………………Bring Your Teddy Bear to School Day

               ………………….Yom Kippur

October 9…………………Leif Erickson Day

               …………………World Sight Day

October 10……………….National Cake Decorating Day

                 ………………..National Angel Food Cake Day

October 11……………….Reptile Awareness Day

October 13……………….Columbus Day

October 14……………….National Dessert Day

October 15……………….White Cane Safety Day

October 16……………….Dictionary Day

                 ………………..World Food Day

October 17……………….Gaudy Day

October 18……………….World Toy Camera Day

October 19……………….Evaluate Your Life Day

October 21……………….Babbling Day

October 22……………….National Nut Day

October 23……………….National Mole Day

October 24……………….International Banana Day

                 ……………….National Bologna Day

October 25………………Make a Difference Day

October 26………………Mule Day

October 28………………National Chocolates Day

                 ……………….Plush Animal Lovers’ Day

October 29………………Internet Day

October 30………………National Candy Corn Day

                  ………………Haunted Refrigerator Night

October 31………………National Magic Day

                 ……………….Halloween

 

As always, check back often to see links to activity and lesson ideas for specific days.

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