Halloween Story Problems

Halloween Story Problems

Seasonal story problems are fun, and motivate kids to think critically. Here’s how you and your child can work together to craft your own story problems from scratch. Remember, every good story problem shows an incomplete number sentence and ends with a question.

What You Need:

    • Orange or black construction paper
    • Handwriting paper
    • Colored pencils
    • Markers
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Index card

 

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What You Do:

      1. Cut two lines of handwriting paper.
      2. Glue the handwriting paper to the bottom of the construction paper.
      3. Print out multiple copies of the attached  Halloween Characters, around three of each character.
      4. Color them and cut them out.
      5. Draw a background on your orange paper. Ideas to consider are: graveyard, haunted house, crumbling wall, or pumpkin patch. Remember to draw a full moon!
      6. Move your Halloween characters around and start to imagine your story problem. Stumped for ideas? Here are some examples:
        • There were two pumpkins sitting on the wall. Three more joined them. How many pumpkins were altogether? Answer: 2+3 = ?
        • A ghost went trick-or-treating with a witch and two mummies. One of the mummies had to go home early. How many trick-or-treaters were left? Answer: 1+1+2-1=?
        • A mummy walked through a graveyard and four witches rose from a grave. How many were there altogether? Answer: 1+4=?
      7. Write the story problem on the lines. Use neat handwriting. Be sure to give all the information the reader needs to solve the problem. End with a question.
      8. Write the answer out in a number sentence. Make a trap door by cutting a corner of the index card to hide the answer. Draw a question mark on the trap door.
      9. Find someone to solve your problem.
      10. Make another one!

 

Pumpkin Shapes

Pumpkin Shapes

Children love going to the pumpkin patch and choosing their own pumpkin for the fall season. Getting to carve the pumpkin and make faces in it is tons of fun for them, but did you know this time-old tradition could be used to help improve their math skills as well?

This fall, let your child practice the important skill of shape recognition with her familiar autumn friend, the pumpkin! In this activity, your child will work on this skill by identifying, drawing, and carving geometric shapes out of a Jack-O-Lantern face. This is a great visual and tactile activity for young kids and can even help them develop their fine motor skills as they scoop the seeds of the pumpkin out. So go on and let your child learn while having an ooey-gooey time!

What You Need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Carving knife
  • Big bowl
  • Plastic spoon
  • Permanent marker
  • Piece of paper
  • Pencil

What You Do:

  1. Get your child to list shapes. Help her draw the shapes she calls out on a piece of paper with the pencil. These shapes will be the basis for the Jack-o-lantern, so discuss and let her pick which shapes she would like to use for her pumpkin’s eyes, nose, and mouth.
  2. Using the permanent marker, help your child draw these shapes on the pumpkin.
  3. Carve the pumpkin for her. Have her point out the various shapes as you cut them out.
  4. Let her scoop out the pulp with the spoon or her hands and place it into the bowl.
  5. How many pumpkin seeds did she scoop out? For added math practice, have her wash them and count. Listen to her count and assist as needed. When she’s done, use a favorite recipe and bake the seeds for a nutritional treat.

When you’re finished, place a candle inside and watch the Jack-o-lantern “glow” with pride!

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Top 10 Tips for Incorporating Halloween Themes in Your Classroom

Top 10 Tips for Incorporating Halloween Themes in Your Classroom

Most kids love Halloween and wait for “trick or treat” with great anticipation. What other time of year do you get to dress up like your favorite monster, animal, or superhero and enjoy free candy? While some schools are banning Halloween celebrations, others continue to have the ever-popular costume parades and pumpkin decorating contests. Here are some fun and easy ways that you can incorporate the spirit of Halloween into your classroom activities.

1. Make it a reading day: Read All Day Nightmare by R.L. Stine. This interactive book allows readers to choose the plot of the story. Have students read the book on their own, or in small groups, with the decisions made by popular vote. You can then pass out worksheets on the book, or have students write their own adventure stories.

2. Quote the raven: You can use Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, “The Raven,” as the center topic for the day. This works best with upper-elementary school students who can understand the language of the piece. You can pass out printable worksheets of the poem, discuss themes, or draw pictures of the room and the raven.

3. Going batty: Science classes will enjoy learning about this unique and often misunderstood mammal. You can build bat houses, look up different types of bats, and discuss bat safety. Younger students may also enjoy making paper bats that you can hang from string from the classroom ceiling.

4. Walk in the cemetery of fiction: Pick a short, spooky story, keeping in the Halloween spirit. After each paragraph, ask students to tell you what happened and what they think will happen next. You can then have students write their own alternate endings to the story.

5. Creative writing with scary creatures: Write on the board, “This Halloween I saw a (insert Halloween character here). This was no ordinary (insert Halloween character here), but was very special becauseÖ” Have students complete the story, telling the audience about their special Halloween character. You can then choose to illustrate the stories and put them together in books to take home.

6. A history of Halloween: Pass out printable worksheets on different cultures and how they celebrate Halloween or a similar holiday. Classes can be divided into small groups to create presentations on the different customs, foods, and significance of Halloween around the world.

7. Ghoul and goblin tag: For physical education classes, or some recess fun, you can play ghouls and goblins. Split the class in half, one half being the ghouls and the others being the goblins. Randomly, the teacher should shout out one or the other. The team that is called then chases the other team, capturing as many as they can and converting them. This continues until everyone is either a ghoul or a goblin.

8. Costume party: Half of the fun of Halloween is dressing up. Encourage kids to wear their costumes to school (making sure that they follow any school guidelines, such as no masks or excessive gore). Award prizes for the scariest, funniest, and most creative costumes.

9. Halloween games: If it will be too difficult for your students to learn on Halloween, consider fun games. You can try traditional favorites like bobbing for apples, or blindfolded guessing games where peeled grapes are “eyeballs” and cold spaghetti are “worms.”

10. Make your own goodies: If you have the facilities, your class will enjoy making their own Halloween goodies. They can decorate their own Halloween cookies or make ghoulish cutout sandwiches for lunch. Alternatively, you can send homes chool worksheets home a week or so before challenging students to bring in their own creepy creations to share with the class.

Halloween is a fun time for most students, and can be turned into a learning experience with a little bit of creativity. Take advantage of this creepy holiday to introduce the class to new concepts and ideas.