Halloween is always a holiday that can be leveraged for engagement (and stories!) with our students. We hope you will add these three resources to your list to “harvest” annually!
Through the pandemic telepractice-fest and beyond, I have enjoyed capitalizing on the trend of escape rooms for intervention activities. They make a great collaborative activity and encourage students to “think with their eyes” (ala Social Thinking®) as they look for clues. Escape “rooms” from HoodaMath contain a brief “story” introduction--why you are trapped there, a Kick-Off, and what you need to plan to do to get out!
And what is an escape activity but the exploration of a Setting? Use MindWing’s Setting Map to teach the language underpinnings of describing a setting. In particular, escape games are great for helping students to label the parts of a larger setting. HoodaMath has a Ghost House, Spooky Farm, and Corn Maze, which are all fun for Halloween. Each activity has a “walkthrough” video (these are always helpful when using games therapeutically with students) so you know some “hints” to give, perhaps even in written form. Come back to the site to check out their many other activities including National Parks escape fun!
This box was hidden under the hay and revealed with a click!
Google Earth is always a great resource for unstructured exploration or a more “guided” tour. Around the World in Haunted Houses (use in Google Chrome browser) brings you to many “haunted” attractions around the world. For many of them, you only see the exterior, but a Setting Map can again help students elaborate on a description (think Jigsaw activity perhaps) and guess or research what’s inside. As the locations are international, this activity can also align with curriculum standards around Geography. For more “organic” and supposedly haunted locations to navigate to in Google Earth, such as Gettysburg’s battlefield and the Stanley Hotel, check out this post with a great list and map (you can search for all these locations in Google Earth in Chrome)
Personality Pumpkins is an old fave of mine, and is a fun game where students match emotions and traits to an array of pumpkins. We can always think of pre-and post-activities that extend the context of a resource to provide for more practice. This game is somewhat quick-timed, so it’s a good idea to preview the words used and have students predict what the pumpkins might look like. Following the activity, you can have students use Story Grammar Marker® icons to create stories involving the traits and emotions. Or use the Story Grammar Treasure Trove app Lists for Writers (or search for lists of emotions and traits) to have students design pumpkins showing these characteristics.