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Engaging Halloween Activities for Upper Elementary ELA


October is a fun month full of pumpkins, witches, bats, monsters, and so much more! Bringing Halloween fun into the classroom doesn’t have to be complicated or distract from the planned curriculum. Here are some engaging Halloween activities for upper elementary that are perfect if all your students celebrate.

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Engaging Halloween Activities for ELA

Image shows Halloween word list with a child's hand hovering above the list.  On the child's finger is a snake finger puppet.
This word list and many other Halloween activities come from this October Activities Packet. It’s full of worksheets and activities aligned with the Common Core.

Some ELA topics are easy to turn into Halloween activities. One such activity is spelling. Create a Halloween-themed spelling list for your students. You can also do Halloween-themed reading passages and put Halloween-themed writing prompts at your writing center.

Spooky Writing

An engaging Halloween activity is using The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg to complete the stories. If you haven’t used this book in your classroom you should plan to this year! It is an extremely captivating book. Harris Burdick shows up to meet with a publisher. He brings the illustrations, titles, and captions present in this book and then vanishes without a trace.

Your students will love completing these spooky stories and their accompanying illustrations. Every year in fourth grade my students would anticipate this writing assignment. You can see a blog post I wrote about it here. I created a writing resource to help guide my students through the writing process and what writing a mystery entails. Check out the digital and print writing unit and save yourself time.

Image shows a computer screen with the words "elements of a mystery" at the top.  There is a student worksheet on the screen with text boxes for the student to type into.
Image shows a worksheet on an orange table.  A child's hand is about to write on the paper.  At the top of the paper it says "The new neighbors" and there is a short paragraph that follows that is left open-ended for students to complete.

Finish the story writing prompts are a great engaging Halloween activity you can easily add to your classroom, Simply print some prompts off and put them at a writing center, assign them as morning work, or even as a quick free write. There are so many ways to use these versatile writing assignments. If you are looking for some that are already made up for you click here.

Spooky Reading

Of course, there are Halloween-themed read-alouds, and yes, I will get to those shortly, but you can also use Halloween-themed passages for reading comprehension. This is an easy engaging Halloween activity!

Find some passages, write your own, or purchase some that you can use with your students. Loads can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers. This passage about Halloween Superstitions comes from my Halloween Reading Comprehension passages. There are digital and printable versions available.

Image shows a child answering questions in pencil on a reading comprehension page about "Halloween Superstitions."  Scattered around the page are black cat erasers.

Read-Alouds to Teach Concepts

Using picture books has always been a favorite of mine to teach concepts to children.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson is perfect for teaching rhyme schemes and rhyming words.

Click, Clack, Boo by Doreen Cronin and Betsey Lewin is great for teaching onomatopoeia.

Boo by Robert Munsch is great for making predictions and inferences.

Miss Fiona’s Stupendous Pumpkin Pies by Mark Molton is perfect for descriptive writing and imagery.

Spooky Chapter Books

The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson – This one isn’t so spooky but it is a fun Halloween read.

Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe – This is a classic in the classroom!

Put a Halloween Spin on Things by Creating Engaging Halloween Activities

Another easy way to bring some Halloween fun into the classroom is to put a Halloween spin on things you already do. If you are working on similies and metaphors you could make spooky ones. Learning about context clues? Come up with some mysterious or haunting ones! If you are working on Greek & Latin roots grab this free digital game!

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    I hope you are easily able to implement some of these engaging Halloween activities in your classroom. If you have any tried and true must-haves for Halloween drop your suggestions in the comments below!


    My name is Jen and I’m the face behind Endeavors in Education.

    I have a passion for ELA and science. I am even STEM certified. Now I spend my time hanging with my kids, blogging (endeavorsined.com), and creating for my TpT store Endeavors in Education.

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