October is a fun time of year for students. They get to be someone or something else for the night. They get to let their imaginations run wild as they become their favorite superhero, their favorite animal, or their favorite cartoon character. Playacting as someone else will allow your students to expand their imaginations and to take a break from their daily life. We all need that. In order to give yourself a bit of a break as well, I’ve compiled a list of things for you to remember about October and all the fun things you can do surrounding Halloween, too.
Learn about Halloween
Teach Halloween safety. Things you might want to discuss:
- Don’t go Trick-or-Treating alone
- Carry a flashlight
- Watch for cars
- Have your parents check your candy before you eat it.
Teaching the history about Halloween can be a bit tricky. Some believe that this holiday is a little haunting. Be sure to do some fun art activities during this time. Students are excited about celebrating, and doing a fun activity helps with releasing some of that extra energy.
Share your favorite! Have everyone share their favorite costumes and favorite candy.
October Fun with Pumpkins
Visiting a pumpkin patch during this time is always fun. Be sure to plan for this field trip in advance, because sometimes the pumpkin patches fill up for school activities. I always told my students that they must be able to carry the pumpkin they pick themselves. Make sure to bring a sharpie. You will want to mark the bottom of their pumpkin with their name.
This is a great time to teach the lifecycle of pumpkins. Take some seeds out of a pumpkin and pass them around so that they can have a hands on experience with planting pumpkins. You can even plant them and watch them grow the month of October.Buy a classroom pumpkin to decorate. Vote on what they want to decorate. Explain the safety in carving pumpkins. Stress that this is a project that must be done with adult supervision. Have them help you take the seeds out and mark up the design. After decorating, bake the seeds and share as a snack.
Spiders and Bats, Oh My!
Discuss some different types of spiders. Go over basic body structure and how it differs from insects. This is also a great time to discuss the spider lifecycle.You will also want to learn about the lifecycle and habitat of bats. Teach about the interesting facts about the different types of bats. Go over the basic body structure and how they are nocturnal mammals.
Spider and bat art projects are so much fun. It is also a great way to teach their body structure and how to identify different types of spiders and bats.There are some great videos all over the web that you can watch about spiders and bats. Read books about spiders and bats. Be sure to let your media specialist know well in advance when you will need these books. Almost everyone will be teaching about spiders and bats during this time. You may even want to check out these books as a grade level and trade them during the days/weeks that you are learning about spiders and bats.
Are you planning a field trip for October? Check out this article to help you get prepared… Field Trips: 4 Easy Steps for Planning and Organization Perhaps you are wanting to do a virtual field trip. Check these out… Virtual Field Trips for Elementary Schools
October can be full of lots of fun things! Let your students know that Halloween is all about fun dressing up and getting to pretend to be someone else for a little while. For some people, that means dressing up as fun things like superheroes and cartoon characters. For others, that means dressing up in costumes that might be a little scary. Remind your students that under each costume is just a person like them. Stress the fun aspects of Halloween this year with costumes, candy, pumpkins, spiders, and bats!