October 15, 2019

Bats, Spiders, and Caves! Oh My!

Below is a collection of activities I integrated into the curriculum over the years to make the month of October a little bit more spooky with Halloween on the horizon, without doing many outright Halloween projects.

We used Stellaluna to do a variety of reading activities using the curriculum from Linda Kamp that is excellent in its' content for students. 

Stellaluna Anchor Chart

We read a couple of books on canes and watched some YouTube videos (click here for video clips) for each student to then make a tree chart showcasing what they learned

Cave Tree Chart

For both spiders and bats (after doing a little research reading) students had to draw and label a picture of said arachnid and mammal, followed by an informational paragraph. 

Scientific Bat Writing

We read did various STEM activities at the end of the day that were slightly Halloween themed. For instance, students had to designed a suspended spider web using only dental floss and a few pieces of masking tape. They tested their webs then by placing this spider to see if it would hold:

Spider STEM

For the month of October, I transformed the reading tent into a reading cave with paper, spider web, and twinkle lights. Inside was a bin with cave specific books and a flashlight. Students took turns spending reading workshop in the reading cave throughout the month.

From Tent to Cave

Cave Readers Workshop

Before students got to paint the mini pumpkins, they first had to practice their description skills:

Pumpkin Investigation

We did three different related art projects during the month of October, beginning with pumpkin critters. Each student received a mini pumpkin to create a woodland creature of their choice along with paint and construction paper. Here are a few:

Mini Pumpkin Painting

Then we made some spooky haunted scene pictures. I diluted black paint to make it super thin, then students used straws to blow the paint around to create the creepy trees. We let them dry, and then they took sharpies to complete their scenes:

Haunted Halloween Painting

Haunted Halloween Painting

Finally, some colorful spider webs! Students drew their web art on construction paper with crayons first and then they watercolored over the webbing: 

Watercolor Spider Webs

During social studies, we were looking at resources from Williamsburg during our American Revolutionary War unit when we came across this little clip about tinsmithing. We made up some quick lanterns and students wrote about their favorite fall memory on these caramel apples to help decorate a hallway wall.

Caramel Apple Writing Activity

Finally, for older students, I loved using this Literature Unit for The Widow's Broom from Michael Frieman-- the excellent quality and my 4th grader loved it!

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