Tips & Tricks for Halloween

If I haven't said it before... I'll say it now... I LOVE Halloween!  I love dressing up, the decor, the season, the fun, the candy corn, the pumpkins... there's nothing I don't LOVE.  So... I'm thrilled to be hooking up with a bunch of fantastic secondary ELA teachers to share some tips and tricks for the Halloween season. 

My high school has a lot of fun with Halloween and the staff and students embrace the holiday fun with a Halloween Dance, costume contest, and of course dressing up!  I love to see what the students and staff can come up with - their creativity knows no bounds! As an English teacher it's the perfect opportunity to incorporate a little spooky fun into our writing activities.  Here are some of the ways I help my students with Halloween themed writing.

Set the Scene Visually
Add some Halloween decor to your classroom - it's cheap and easy to find at your local dollar store and I know my students enjoy seeing a few elements up in my room to help them create a spooky scene.  Fun and funky images and decor can also help spark their imaginations as they write!  You can even have students use your decor as a writing prompt! Why not have them free write and include two of the spooky Halloween elements in your room in their writing. A few Halloween treats also go a long way in motivating students. #iwilldoanythingforcandycorn   My students also love writing on themed paper - lots of free Halloween templates to be found online!  And it's amazing how excited they all get about a Halloween themed pencil from the dollar store!!

Create a Spooky Mood
Play some creepy music while your students work - it's a fun way to get students thinking about how they can set the mood in a story using vibrant and vivid verbs. How can they create the same eerie feeling with their words, that a musician creates with music?  It's easy to find a spooky or eerie playlist on Youtube - here's one to check out -  Halloween Music.  If it's easy to dim the lights or use floor lamps to dimly light your classroom I am sure your students will appreciate it! Or use flashlights to read. I also recently thought of using the "candles" that are lit with batteries as a mood setter too!!  I am fairly certain I can't use real candles at school #accidentwaitingtohappen

Spooky Pictures
Use creepy photos to help students with descriptive writing.  A quick image search on Google will yield some spooky results.  Brainstorming descriptive words can be a fun and helpful writing exercise.  Here's an example you can use!

Spooky Read Aloud
Despite the fact that my students are in high school, they still LOVE to have a short story read to them. I also love to read to's win-win in my classroom!  One of my favourites to read at Halloween is Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" - such a great story and so many elements to chat about with them.  You can also show them this short video of the short story narrated by James Mason (he has THE most perfect voice to tell the tale!)  If you're studying "The Tell-Tale Heart" be sure to check out my accompanying creative newspaper assignment HERE

Halloween Mystery Story Writing Activity
My students have always loved my Halloween Mystery Activity - it's got everything you'll need to help your students generate ideas for a spooky story, activities to help them plan their writing, peer editing guidance, grading rubrics and more! Everything is included so you can get started writing today!  I have it in a traditional paper version and a Google Drive version! Click the images to check them out!! 

Check out all of my HALLOWEEN RESOURCES HERE - there's even a fun freebie to grab!

I hope you have a spooky, fun and safe Halloween with your families and your students.


  1. I love your ideas for creating a spooky mood on Halloween. Sounds like fun!

  2. I love all of your ideas for creating a spooky mood. I think my favorite is using a spooky picture to get students writing. This is such a great way to get students to start thinking creatively. I've used this idea before with photos from "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick" to have students create their own short stories.

  3. Thanks for sharing these ideas, Addie! I haven't done a spooky read aloud in a LONG time...this post inspired me! I'll have to give that a go-around this Halloween 😘👍🏼

  4. Students adore reading and writing when there's a "spooky mood" in the classroom! Love all your ideas facilitating this!

  5. It sounds like so much fun to be in your English class! These are such creative ideas for inspiring creative writing.

  6. It seems like a lot of us have similar teaching styles. I love using spooky music on Halloween!

    1. Ha ha... great minds think alike. Wouldn't it be fun to all teach together?!

  7. Great idea for a spooky read-aloud. Can really go along with discussion of mood. Plus, candy!

  8. I love the newspaper project! Fun stuff.

  9. I'm totally jealous of the Halloween shenanigans at your school, and how multisensory your post is. Thanks for the great ideas! :)

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  11. I am so glad that I found your blog! I love all of your projects and I am definitely using your music idea for 'creating a spooky mood' during writing time.
    Thank you!
    Happy Halloween!

    -Christina B


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