It’s that time of the year again—fall is in full swing, and Halloween is just around the corner. Even if Halloween isn’t your top pick for holidays, who can resist the charm of autumn leaves, the aroma of apple cinnamon, and all things pumpkin spice?
I get it—middle schoolers have shorter attention spans and are not ready for the likes of “Frankenstein” or “Dracula.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of this season to engage students in learning! Fall is the perfect time to introduce middle schoolers to classic authors and creative writing activities to that capture the spirit of the season.
Bram Stoker, the author of the legendary novel Dracula, also wrote a chilling companion short story titled “Dracula’s Guest.” This tale serves as an excellent introduction to Stoker’s style and offers just the right amount of spookiness to entice middle schoolers.
“Dracula’s Guest” follows the harrowing adventures of an unnamed young Englishman who finds himself in perilous circumstances upon visiting Munich. The narrative exposes the eerie and tense occurrences throughout his expedition, making it a perfect literary adventure for young readers. It’s a captivating prelude to the world of terror and vampirism that Stoker masterfully crafted in his iconic novel, Dracula which many students read in high school.
Halloween is a season of spooky tales, eerie encounters, and hair-raising adventures. This time of year provides a golden opportunity to engage middle schoolers in the world of creative writing, tapping into their imagination and encouraging the development of essential writing skills.
Incorporating Halloween-themed writing prompts is an excellent way to ignite the creative flames within young writers. Picture prompts, in particular, serve as powerful catalysts, stimulating the visual and imaginative senses.
Encourage students to select a picture prompt that sends shivers down their spines and let their imagination take flight (This resource also includes non spooky images for those who may not enjoy the eeriness of the season.). Encourage students to describe the scene, develop characters, and craft a chilling narrative that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. As students embrace the spookiness of the Halloween season, they’ll also be honing their storytelling skills and nurturing a lifelong love for creative writing.
The spooky ambiance surrounding Halloween serves as a perfect backdrop for diving into the Salem Witch Trials. The eeriness of the season mirrors the fear and hysteria that once consumed the people of Salem. By connecting this dark chapter in history with the thrill of Halloween, we can capture the attention of middle schoolers and spark their curiosity about the past.
By blending the allure of Halloween with ELA and Social Studies, this one-day lesson offers a powerful learning experience for students. It encourages critical thinking, empathy, and a deeper understanding of historical events while embracing the spirit of the season. Make history come alive this Halloween and inspire a new generation of learners to explore the fascinating tales that shaped our world.
In conclusion, autumn is a great mix of Halloween excitement and cozy fall vibes, making it a perfect time to amp up learning for middle schoolers. Whether it’s diving into Bram Stoker’s spooky tale “Dracula’s Guest” to spark interest in classic lit or using Halloween picture prompts for some creative writing fun, this season offers a chance to make learning a blast. Tying in a bit of history, like the Salem Witch Trials, adds an educational twist to the Halloween spirit. Let’s blend the fall magic with engaging experiences to inspire a new bunch of learners. Have a spooktacular and enlightening Halloween season!
You may also be interested in these Winter Holiday ideas: