Sure Halloween is about dressing up and trick or treating. But there are some serious subjects that you can pull out of the holiday. Check out these resources from PBS Learning Media that highlight science and English Language Arts dubbed the Halloween Spooktacular.

Spooky Science Special - Grades: PreK-1: Using this resource group, students learn about Halloween related science topics. The kids investigate how bats are helpful creatures that catch mosquitoes, spiders are expert engineer web builders, cats are leaping aerial acrobats, and skeletons help hold up our bodies! At the Halloween party, the kids also investigate how to make icky, gooey green slime. Susie then ends the day with a special "Halloween Parade" song so the kids can march around and show off their spooky and scientific costumes with Sid the Science Kid!

Elements of Style in Poe - Grades: 6-13+: What poet is scarier than Edgar Allen Poe? Check out a dramatic reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart” and discuss the style of writing with your classroom.

Supernatural Elements of Shakespeare - Grades: 8-12: In this media collection, students explore the use of supernatural elements within William Shakespeare’s plays, focusing particularly on Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Students examine supernatural beliefs during the 16th and 17th centuries, and they also identify how supernatural elements drive the plot of many of Shakespeare’s plays.

The Zombie Autopsies for Educators - Grades: 8-13+: The following lessons about neuroscience have been inspired by the book, The Zombie Autopsies, written by Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, and are intended to complement it. The Zombie Autopsies was inspired by George Romero’s 1968 cult-classic horror film Night of the Living Dead.

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.

Although the materials are organized as a unit, lessons can be used as stand-alone or can be shaped to fit the needs of you and your students regarding time and content. Introduce zombie neurobiology to your classroom today!