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15 Spooktacular Resources For Halloween

Halloween dates back thousands of years to the Celtic people of ancient Europe, who recognized October 31 as the last day of autumn and had festivals to celebrate. This was the time that the regular world and spirit world were thought to be closest, so people wore masks and costumes to fend off roaming ghosts. Over time, the holiday evolved into a secular and community-based event known for activities like trick-or-treating and bobbing for apples that we love today. Use the following resources and activities for your kids at school or at home! 

PBS LearningMedia Resources
 
Grades: 2-6
Halloween hasn't always been about candy and costumes. Take a look back at the historical traditions about spirits that are the basis for this holiday. You're in for a treat!
 
Grades: PreK-12
Halloween is a time to celebrate superstition and changing seasons, and this collection aims to do just that. Make slime, use math to share candy, study zombie brains, and explore the concept of fear with these videos and lesson plans for PreK-12.
 
Grades: 6-12
Why are sounds scary? They're just vibrations. Blame your brain! Join Joe Hanson, host of It's Okay to Be Smart, and enter a dimension of sound, science, and fear.
 
Grades: 6-12
Dermestid Beetles are fast and fastidious eaters. They can pick a carcass clean in just days leaving even the most delicate bone structures intact. This makes them the perfect tool for museum scientists—if you keep them far, far away from valuable collections.
 
Grades: 6-12
In the devoutly Puritan colony of Salem, Massachusetts during the mid to late 1600s, anxiety and mistrust led to a wave of hysteria when a group of adolescent girls accused members of the colony of witchcraft. Learn more about the dark history of the Salem Witch Trials with this clip from season 3 of Genealogy Roadshow.
 
Grades: 9-12
In this self-paced lesson, students explore how Shakespeare uses supernatural elements in Macbeth. The lesson begins with an exploration of beliefs about the supernatural and witchcraft in Shakespeare’s time as presented in a segment from Shakespeare Uncovered. Students turn to the text of Macbeth and analyze the action, imagery, characterization, and language of Act I, Scene iii (the scene in which Macbeth and Banquo first encounter the witches and hear their predictions). Then, students view another segment from Shakespeare Uncovered and explore key questions about the role of the witches in the action of Macbeth. Finally, they examine other supernatural episodes in the play and produce a paper exploring the impact and meaning of one of these episodes. This lesson is best used after a reading of Macbeth.
 
Grades: 3-6
In this video segment from Cyberchase, Buzz, Delete, and Harold are trying to share 18 pieces of candy equally among themselves. Jackie helps them by demonstrating how to divide the candies equally by distributing the candies in rounds.
 
Grades: PreK-2
It's Halloween, and the kids are learning how to make icky, gooey green slime!  The key ingredients are corn starch, water and green paint.  Learn how different amounts of each ingredient changes the consistency of the slime.  Discover how the slime is a substance that can be both a liquid and a solid.
 
Grades: 5-9
More than 250,000 people of Mexican heritage live in Georgia. They bring with them not only a different language, but a variety of customs and beliefs that enrich Georgia's culture. The Day of the Dead is one of them. Many people join in the Day of the Dead celebration at Atlanta's Mexican Cultural Center on November 1-2. It is a little like Halloween, not only because of the date, but also because skeletons are used to represent death.
 
Grades: 8-12
These original lessons build upon each other, using the undead to teach the living about the brain. The lessons follow an accompanying plot line where the world is fighting a zombie apocalypse and the best and the brightest young people are being trained as medical students – with a specialty in neuroscience – with the hopes that they will be able to provide a cure to this terrible epidemic and save humanity.
 
Grades: 9-13+
This teaching guide helps instructors use a specific primary source set, "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, in the classroom. It offers discussion questions, classroom activities, and primary source analysis tools. It is intended to spark pedagogical creativity by giving a sample approach to the material.

 

Discovery Education Resources*
 
Grades: 6-12
This video segment states that Halloween dates back to the Samhain festival of ancient-Celtic cultures, and explains that Samhain was the Celtic New Year. The segment also discusses how Samhain mixed in with the Roman festival of Feralia and the Christian holy day of All Saints Day (All Hallows Day).
 
Grades: 6-12
This video illustrates the religious and cultural history behind Halloween celebrations, and presents the Ancient and Medieval roots of costumes, apple bobbing, and trick-or-treating. The program also outlines the development of Halloween in the American Colonies and the United States.
 
Grades: K-12
Explore the human skeletal system in-depth with this 3D animation.
 
Grades: K-5
This video highlights why trick-or-treat practices began during the Medieval observance of All Souls Day, and summarizes Halloween practices in the 21st century.
 
*GPB Education is proud to offer all Georgia educators free Discovery Education accounts. If you need help accessing or creating a new account, please email education@gpb.org.

 

Mary Anne serves as an education specialist at GPB, where she develops content and resources for educators and students. A native Georgian, Mary Anne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia earning her Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education, with concentrations in Language Arts and Social Studies.... more