Hallowe’en makes for a fun teaching opportunity in the TEFL classroom. It gives your students a chance to learn about new traditions, get creative and have fun. We’ve put together a list of our ten favourite Hallowe’en activities for younger learners and adult students – if you have any other Hallowe’en TEFL activities that are always popular, let us know in the comments!
Activities for young learners
There are lots of Hallowe’en origami videos on Youtube with instructions for making bats, pumpkins and ghosts. This video is very easy to follow and uses A4 paper. If you do this with your class in the run up to Hallowe’en you’ll be able to use the bats as classroom decorations!
How to recognise a witch
Read this chapter of The Witches, by Roald Dahl, with your students, taking time over new vocabulary. You could read aloud and they could follow along. As a follow up activity, get them to draw a witch and then label all the different signs detailed in the chapter.
Halloween word find
This simple activity works for kids and adults. Write the word Hallowe’en up on the board and then get your students to make as many words as they can from the letters. You can do this with other Hallowe’en related vocabulary too, like Frankenstein or haunted house, and set a timer to make it more challenging.
Vocabulary mix up
This fun activity from ESL Library covers all four skills and gets your students up and moving. It’s adaptable to different levels simply by making the costume descriptions more sophisticated.
Halloween songs for kids
The British council has a ton of different Hallowe’en songs on its website, with videos and subtitles. This is a nice end of class activity and there are songs for all levels.
Activities for teenagers and adult students
Hallowe’en web quest
Assign different countries to your students (Mexico, Ireland, North America, Poland) and get them to do some research on how these countries celebrate Hallowe’en and the days around it. They then present their findings to the class. Afterwards you can lead a discussion on personal traditions at this time of year, and get them to explain the castanyada tradition to you.
Split your class into two teams and play Hallowe’en Articulate. Hand out slips with Hallowe’en vocabulary on them and then, with a timer, get the students to describe the word on their slip without saying the word itself. Use a timer and keep score on the board to make it more interesting!
Watch a short horror film
You obviousy won’t want to dedicate an entire class to watching a scary film, but there are lots of horror shorts on this Vimeo channel (Lights Out is a good one) which are under ten minutes long. Afterward, lead a discussion about the genre of horror films and get students to tell you the plot of their favourite horror film.
Peel an apple
Bring in a bag of apples and a knife and get students to peel their apples in one long strip. Superstition says that if they toss the peel over their left shoulder, the shape it lands in will be the initial of their future husband or wife.
Do a Hallowe’en costume quiz
Get your students to do this quiz on their smartphones and share their results with one another. You could then get them to write a shopping list of what they’ll need to make their costume.
What do you have planned with your students this Hallowe’en?