With a couple of teaching days left until Halloween, here are a few quick and easy resource free/light teaching ideas for EFL students.
Halloween Memory Game
Print off some Halloween-themed images and pin or stick them around the classroom walls. Walk around the classroom, removing one image at a time, holding it up for students to see and naming it. When all the images have been removed, tell them they have 2 minutes to list as many objects as they can remember – you can use the attached word cards to get ideas for images.
Horror Movie Trailer
Brainstorm some common horror-movie vocabulary and plots. Have students work in groups to devise and act out a horror movie trailer - complete with a voice-over.
Describe and Draw
Find a Halloween image and, without showing the students, describe it to them. As you describe it, have them draw the image as accurately as possible.
Horror Story Openings
Talk to your students about what helps to create tension and atmosphere in ghost stories and horror stories. Ask them to describe the settings and characters in some of their favourite stories or films. Have students work in pairs to come up with the first few opening sentences of a horror story.
Collaborative Halloween Drawing
Tell the students that they are going to help you create a Halloween scene on the whiteboard. Have students take turns suggesting things for you to add to the picture. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be a great artist for this one, as the worse your drawing is, the funnier they will find it!
Alternatively, if you don’t want to draw yourself, ask for a volunteer to do it for you. As you draw the picture, practise additional language by asking the class questions: ‘On the left or the right?’, ‘Do you want the moon bigger or smaller?’, ‘Is there anything in the tree?’, ‘How many windows in the house?’ ‘Is the bat flying, or hanging upside-down?’
Get students to sit in a circle and tell a ghost story, taking turns to add one sentence at a time. If it’s possible, do this in a room you can blackout, and put on some atmospheric background music. If you have a torch, turn it on and hold it pointing up so that it illuminates your face from below as you start the story. At each turn, the torch is passed to the person whose turn it is to speak next.
Tell the students they have been hired to plan the best-ever Halloween party. In groups, they need to plan their party and pitch it to the class. They should include a themed party playlist with at least ten songs, food and drink, décor and activities. They can add their own touches to make the party go with a swing – for example, they could use hired actors to interact with the guests and stage ‘scenes’, or they could make it a mobile party by holding it on a bus or train and theming it as a ‘journey to into darkness’.
Print off and cut up the Halloween vocabulary cards provided. Shuffle the cards and have students, in turn, describe or act out the object or person for the rest of the class to guess.
Written by Mike Turner