Halloween in Middle School can go two ways! You can pretend it’s just another day and keep it business as usual. You have your bell ringer assignment ready to go, you keep reading the next chapter in Refugee, your students take the grammar quiz for the unit you just wrapped up. OR you create a memorable Halloween experience that your students will LOVE, and it’s completely zero-prep and standards-aligned!
Students will know from the start they’re in for something fun and different in your class period as they walk into spooky sounds.! Once they have settled into their seats, immediately start playing Episode 145 of the Criminal Podcast: How to Sell a Haunted House.
Listening to and discussing this particular podcast episode and then writing haunted house descriptions requires no prep, and is still incredibly engaging and standards aligned!
Tune in now to hear:
- [1:56] This lesson hits speaking and listening standards as well as writing standards that also goes well with Issue #5 the Descriptive Writing Unit available to all EB Teachers’ Club members.
- [2:29] Jessica touches on how you can start off your Halloween class period by turning the lights off and playing spooky sounds from Youtube to capture your students’ attention.
- [2:57] Once they’re all settled, you can start playing Episode 145 of the Criminal Podcast: How to Sell a Haunted House and don’t introduce it to hook them into listening to the story.
- [3:27] Jessica goes on to share a gist of the podcast episode. In the middle of the night Mark woke up to the creaking sounds coming up the stairs at their house in 1 Laveta Place in New York. With his wife sleeping beside him, he felt that there was someone sitting on the bed beside him. He sees the silhouette of a woman who then gets up and goes out the door again. He wakes his wife up, and she asks if it was a woman, which apparently she has seen ever since she was a kid. Cynthia, the wife, then unfolds the story of their haunted house that her parents bought in the 1960s.
- [8:04] Jessica recommends listening to the podcast first before playing it in your class to make sure it’s appropriate for your students and school culture. Pay close attention to the 21 minute mark where some violent acts or deaths are mentioned.
- [8:54] Caitlin suggests listening to the whole episode (which is about 32 minutes long) in one class period, and then discussing it with your students in your next class period. This works well if you have 40-50 minute class periods. Caitlin also poses some questions you can use for your students to discuss in groups.
- [10:44] If you have a longer class period, your students can write their own description of a haunted house for sale. You can have them create an imaginary address and include a description of how many bedrooms, bathrooms, what they might find in a haunted house and vividly describe each main part of the house. You can also have them pretend they are a realtor and create a flier of the haunted house for sale.
- [12:12] Jessica continues on how this lesson does not require preparations in order to have a collaborative and engaging discussion with your students that is also standards aligned.
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