Halloween Lesson Ideas for young ESL students

Halloween lesson ideas for teaching english

We don't do much to celebrate Halloween in South Africa, and it seems it's the same here in South Korea. Many of my students haven't ever heard the word Halloween before, so it seemed like a good a time as any to have some fun with ghosts and jack o' lanterns, witches and black cats. I currently teach middle school students, but have also taught younger levels and these activities have worked for all levels.

We spent a good couple of lessons going over Autumn/Fall vocabulary with these great songs (each one is linked below) and then the activities we did are pictured and explained below too:



Scarecrow Project:

You Need: 




-coloured paper

-white paper to stick your scarecrow onto

The Scarecrow Song (great for teaching parts of the body)

The Shapes Song (a great song for calming down students if the lessons starts to get too out of hand, the kids really do love this song and I have been playing it for over a year intermittently)

We made scarecrows out of shapes for this activity.  I started off having the students draw the shapes I would call out. I called out the shapes that could make up a scarecrow but didn't tell them where to draw the shapes. For example '1 big square....2 small circles...1 big triangle). It was fun to see what sort of creatures the students made with their shapes. At the end of this activity I showed them that I had used those shapes to create a scarecrow. This then sets the theme for the lesson and helps for the students to grasp the next activity. They loved looking at each others weird and wonderful creations.

I then gave each student a stack of coloured paper, glue and scissors and called out each shape and colour that I wanted them to cut out. I made sure each student was keeping up and not falling behind as the sequence is quite important. Here is what the students ended up with:



Halloween Masks

You need:

-mask printables (downloaded from MrPrintables click here)

-thick card

-straws (I used string the last time but the masks were too flimsy and kept tearing apart so this time we made hand held masks)


-craft knife (to cut out the eyes)

-coloured pens and pencils

Trick or Treat Song (can be a little too scary for younger students so make sure to play it with the lights on first)

Spooky Spooky (this is a firm favourite with all my students, even my middle school girls!)

The halloween masks activity was super simple to do. I introduced the above Halloween songs, we practised the vocabulary by having the students some up to the board and draw what they saw in the song. Then I showed them an example of the mask from the MrPrintables site and bombs away. Use a craft knife to cut out the eye holes, tape the straw to the back of the mask an let havoc ensue!

Halloween Cookies

For our last Halloween lesson I got some chocolate decorating pens from CNA (one of the local stationery stores here in Korea), a bunch of different biscuits and cookies, and then let the kids go crazy decorating. Some of them were so creative that I was blown away. My favourite is the last cookie...my youngest student made do with the cookie given to her...