October has arrived. Along with sweater weather and pumpkin-themed just about everything, we’re getting excited for Halloween. We recently asked some of our PLS Instructors to share a few recommendations, traditions, and costume ideas that you can use in the classroom. We hope you enjoy their ideas!
Q: What is your favorite children’s Halloween themed book and why?
Christopher VonVolkenburg recommends, There Was an Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams. This is a terrific read aloud story especially for Pre-K through 3rd grade. Chris teaches a song that goes along with the story that you can find on YouTube.
Brooke Thurston recommends There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat by Lucille Colandro. It’s a spooky twist on the story of the lady who swallowed a fly. It’s also a great read aloud book for Pre-K through 3rd grade students.
Rhonda Daddario recommends the classic Caldecott winning book, Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak.
Jennifer Basom said that “Froggy Picks a Pumpkin, by Jonathan London, is one that my first graders love! We read a lot of books from the Froggy series, so he is a favorite character in our classroom! The books are silly, quick reads!”
Q: Do you have a favorite classroom tradition or activity that you do with your students in October to celebrate Halloween?
Christopher VonVolkenburg teaches a Spooky Scary Skeleton Song and Dance to his elementary school students.
Jennifer Basom said, “Each year in first grade, we have an Apple Math lesson. Each student brings in an apple of their choosing. We then graph by color, practice measuring and weighing our apples, and finally eat them!”
Sharon Casciole holds a contest for the scariest and overall best Halloween costumes.
Mike Glover used to harvest a fall garden in the high school agriculture class that he taught.
Brooke Thurston has a writing unit called Pet Monsters during October. Students create their own pet monster and they write a paper about how they would take care of their pet monster.
Rhonda Daddario also has her students design a monster and write a descriptive paragraph about it.
Q: What is the most creative Halloween costume you’ve seen a student or teacher wear to school?
Jennifer Basom said, “Our first-grade team likes to coordinate costumes each year. We’ve dressed as dice and wrapped presents (easy diy costumes with a box)!”
Sharon Casciole remembers when, “The art teacher was a very interesting mummy.”
Rhonda Daddario remembers Pippy Longstocking. “She had long red hair-braided around metal clothes hanger wire and bent the braids out with a cute checked dress.”
Mike Glover remembers when “A teacher in my building came as himself in the shower, complete with a shower curtain on a frame around him with shower head hanging above him (clothed of course!).”
Brooke Thurston remembers when “A student was dressed as a vending machine and the candy could really come out.”
Christopher VonVolkenburg remembers when the art teacher was a crayon box!
Meet Our Instructors
Find out more about the featured PLS Instructors above by visiting our new instructor bio pages of our website. Plus, you’ll also see which graduate courses they have coming up.