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History.com: Halloween

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required

Website: http://www.history.com/topics/halloween

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, speakers and/or headphones

Activity Description

Use the articles and videos on History.com's Halloween pages to teach students about the history and traditions of Halloween.

Preparation

  1. Choose which activities to use in class depending on the appropriateness of their reading/listening level for your students. The Web site's resources are more suited to high intermediate/advanced ESL students. The Halloween-related articles on the Web site include the following:
  2. There are more than 36 Halloween-related videos, which are short enough (30 seconds to 3 minutes) to introduce the topic or use as focused listening exercises, including:
  3. After choosing which resource (article and/or video) to use, list vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to students, which you will need to pre-teach.
  4. Download the Halloween Activities (PDF) file to see if it is appropriate for use with your class. If so, print it and make photocopies for distribution to students.
  5. Plan and create materials for the activity or activities you will have students do with the site's resource(s). Some activity ideas are the following:
    • listening and note-taking
    • listening cloze
    • listening/dictation
    • reading comprehension and vocabulary learning
    • summary writing
  6. Make sure that the Web site is not blocked at your school site, especially if you plan to project an article or show a video. If you plan to have students watch a video, play it on the computer from which you will project it to ensure that necessary plug-ins/software are installed. You will also need speakers loud enough to be heard by all.

How-To

  1. Tell students that they are going to learn about Halloween (history or tradition).
  2. Open the Web site (above) for the article or video on the classroom computer and project it, or share it with students if you choose to have students do the activity individually or in pairs in computer lab setting.
  3. Explain and model the activity you have planned.
  4. Have students complete the activity and check their answers with a classmate or check answers and discuss as a whole-class activity.
  5. You can finish up the a Halloween lesson with the BBC's 7-question quiz  online, to find out if students can remember what they learned about this unique holiday.

Teacher Tips

  • If you plan to use an article, you may choose to project it from a computer using an LCD projector or, for easier viewing, you can copy and paste the article into a word processing document, photocopy, and distribute to students. Be sure to reference the source.

More Ways

  • Games and other activities: The site includes two interactive exercises. The first, Hidden Spirits: Paranormal Investigation Halloween Game, is a game in which users play the role of "paranormal data collector" to help solve the haunted mysteries of the Royal Mangnall Hotel. Students may enjoy the game, especially those who are fans of Paranormal Activity or CSI. The game provides good reading and recall practice for literacy students.
  • The second interactive on the site is the page Patterns for Pumpkin Carving , with photos of simple(skull pattern) to extremely intricate (Statue of Liberty pattern), for which PDF patterns can be downloaded and used for pumpkin carving. Perhaps students may enjoy a class jack-o-lantern design contest.

Documents

Levels

  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced

Standards

Basic Communication

  • (2.7) Understand aspects of society and culture
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.