Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love how the leaves change color, how the nights get longer, and how there is always a slight chill in the air. It’s also the beginning of Halloween – that spooky, cooky, holiday where we’re all allowed to be a little weird. If you’re a teacher, you’ve likely noticed a change in your students as well. Their “new school year” jitters have passed and many of them have fallen into regular routines, some of them good and some of them not so much.

Structure is important to learn, but so is creativity. When students get too settled in their thinking, they’re less likely to be curious or think outside the box. Halloween is a chance to shake things up. By introducing a little weirdness into your lessons, teachers can reinvigorate their students and help them engage with the content. It doesn’t hurt that Halloween is also a lot of fun too.

Here are just a few activities that can get your students excited about learning while also taking them into the weird world of STEAM:

Bobbing for Apples: In this classic Halloween game, students must retrieve an apple from a tub of water without using their hands. But why does the apple float? Would something of a similar size a shape float as well? Why or why not? Use this activity to introduce your class to the science of volume and buoyancy in a way that’s memorable, meaningful, and fun!   

Mad Science: Nothing gets kids invested in learning like crazy experiments. Using only common household items, show your students how to make lightning from a grape! If you’d prefer something more lowkey and sweet, conjure up a treat by teaching students to make their own candy. It’s a trick and a treat for the whole classroom!

Engin-eerie Activities: Engineers are responsible for many of the wonderful things we have in our world. Teach your students to use the engineering design process in their thinking by immersing them in some fun, freaky engin-eerie activities. Then, reflect on how testing ideas out can help make all of us smarter!

Halloween Read-Aloud: There are a number of excellent Halloween-themed books that can help your young readers expand their vocabulary while also building their understanding of theme and imagery. Get them laughing with a hilarious book like The Hallo-Wiener. If something spooky (but not too spooky) is more up your ally, there’s always The Soup Bone and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. After all, what is Halloween without a few ghost stories?

If you found these activities helpful, be sure to check out the Blue Apple Timely Topic: Spooktacular STEAM. In Spooktacular STEAM, classrooms explore 5 free lessons inspired by the October month to foster curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. There’s no better time to introduce your students to the strange and wonderful world of learning. So, as this season gets underway, take a moment, and introduce a little spontaneity to your classroom. After all, learning should be full of surprises!

*Image courtesy of Robert Davis via Wikimedia Commons.

For more free educational resources, check out these teacher-tested strategies from Blue Apple!