Search this blog

Monday, October 28, 2013

Witchful Thinking: Trick Them into Learning on Halloween

Lily Jones confesses to be a Halloween Grinch in her latest blog post, but there are plenty of creative teachers devising ways to mix the fun of the holiday in their witches’ cauldron.  The last #njed twitter discussion had my tweeps coming up with applications for every grade level and subject area. 

Ideas from the pumpkin patch
@principalarc had kids decorate pumpkins based on lit characters.  Here are some guidelines for that activity.
@mrnesi remembers predicting the volume of a pumpkin – other suggestions include counting ridges, seeds, graphing, averaging, and estimating with pumpkin seeds.

Or the candy store
Although some would rather not ruin their festivities with negative aspects of candy, you can do a lot of math with a bag of it:  count and graph, weigh for accuracy, look at nutritional information, calculate the calories in your trick or treat bag.

Or costumes from the old trunk upstairs
@wwpscience Theme it for the class. If reading a book with the class, costumes of characters. I gave credit for dressing up as scientists.
Dress as literary characters, scientists, historical figures, etc.
Or the science lab
Great experiements @dandanscience offers spooky science experiments
 @mrnesi – feely bags- record notes, make predictions.

Did I miss your subject area?
Of course, Jerry Blumengarten, better known as @Cybraryman1 has got you covered with his wonderful collection of links and resources for every aspect of Halloween. 
There are tons of potential writing prompts for Halloween, but what about the critical thinking component?  Are you hitting the common core?

Ratchet up their thinking
Let’s circle back to our self-proclaimed Grinch, what if your town was carefully considering cancelling Halloween?  This is the premise of the free SCAN lesson, “Should We Cancel Halloween?”  The scenario starts:
Due to some recent vandalism in your town, the town council is discussing canceling trick or treating this year.  You have been invited to the town meeting to decide what action should be taken.  After listening to the concerns of parents, students, police and council members you will help develop a plan of action for Halloween night.

Of course, using the SCAN tool, students would take on the roles of those in the meeting, visit web resources to gather evidence to support their point of view and discuss and clarify the issues online.  From this collaboration, they would decide what should be done.  Throw in a little civics with a discussion around whether the government has the right to cancel a holiday!   A little critical thinking, a little creativity and a little common core all swirled together in a witches brew!

To access this lesson and learn more about the SCAN online discussion tool, check out this short video.

No comments:

Post a Comment