Writing Prompt: Spooky ideas for Halloween

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You may find your classroom overfilling with uninvited guests this Monday—from vampires and ghosts, to the whole cast of the Marvel comics, and everything inbetween. Want to control the guest list? Why not propose a “literary” Halloween bash around the works of some of your students’ favourite authors and characters—Harry Potter, for instance?

Speaking of literacy, Halloween is the perfect time to scare up some spooktacular student writing. Whether you’re gearing them up for National Novel Writing Month (starting November 1), or demonstrating the mechanics of poetry, we’re sure you’ll find something ghoulish and fun in some of the creative writing prompts we’ve curated from teachers across the globe.

This site, for instance, features brilliant (and funny!) examples of epitaphs, like this classic ode to an unfortunate poetry teacher:

Here lies poetry that all children hated.
The last person who taught it, we decapitated.

While we’re on the subject of classic: what is the controversy surrounding Stephen King’s cult classic, Carrie? That’s one of the books up for debate in this Teachers Media International video where popular authors such as Celia Rees delve into the world of horror fiction.

Prefer something a little more visual? An eerie underground dwelling is discovered in this Teachers Media International video starter—and it seems to be haunted!

With My Pumpkin Story, younger students use an online tool to “carve” a pumpkin, and then write a story about it. And in Spooky Adlibs, students use a spreadsheet to answer questions, then fill in the blanks to weave tales of ghostly adventure.

Good old fashioned writing prompts are an effective way to get students writing. Consider these quick story starters, which are suitable for all ages and are limited only to kids’ imaginations.

  • The mad scientist was creating a new monster that could…
  • I got an eerie feeling when I heard…
  • The Halloween pumpkin turned into a…
  • The large cauldron of purple liquid started to boil when…

Be sure to encourage students to use sensory detail, describing not just the sights, but also the smells, sounds, and textures around them. Atmosphere is important, and it’s perhaps best explored through video, such as in this Teachers Media International writing prompt, where your class will discover ghostly events, gates mysteriously opening, and footsteps being heard—even though no one is there.

Inspired? Great! Now get those students writing! Reading their work aloud might be the perfect activity for Halloween Monday—after that recess game of Quidditch with your team of Harry Potters, of course.

Have a great weekend!

~ The Teachers Media Team

Photo Credit: “Header image: BY- TheRoughRider / Creative Commons

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