It’s not often that students are truly interested in imbuing their writing with sensory details. Halloween is one of those rare occasions. Here are some tips for encouraging students to write vivid details.
Practice as a class
Working together, choose a spooky setting and story premise. On the board, create a chart with five columns, one for each sense. (Sight, smell, taste, sound, touch) Fill each column with at least three examples. Then, encourage students to try turning the sensory details into sentences that could fit into a story.
Create individual sensory word banks
Once students start writing their spooky Halloween stories, they are more interested in action than description. A little planning can go a long way. Encourage students to brainstorm sensory details for their stories.
Separate description from storytelling
Writing a Halloween story with vivid descriptions might be too much for your students. You could encourage students to write descriptive Halloween paragraphs and illustrate them.
Create a grab bag of sensory details
Cut scratch paper into eighths. Give each student five scraps. Then, have each student write a sensory detail on each scrap. Put all the scraps in a grab bag and redistribute them. Challenge students to create a paragraph that incorporates all the sensory details they pulled from the grab bag.
Read spooky stories and descriptions aloud
As students work, take frequent breaks for sharing. You can choose good examples or allow students to volunteer to read their efforts to the class. Students will be motivated by seeing their peers succeed at description.
You might enjoy these other Halloween posts at ClassAntics:
New Orleans Halloween: teach a Fall Festival lesson about the culture of New Orleans. Includes a FREE powerpoint of New Orleans cultural symbols and landmarks, book recommendations, and music tips.
A good way to organize a Halloween Party: learn how to create a party for your whole grade level by setting up a rotation. Each teacher need only prepare one activity.
Do any of your students opt out of celebrating Halloween or other holidays? Read how to accommodate that student in a pleasant way in the post Buddy Up to Help Students Who Don’t Celebrate Holidays or Birthdays.
Make it a theme day with Halloween Math Worksheets.