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Halloween Reading Activities for Upper Elementary Classrooms

It’s a well known fact that the closer you get to a holiday the harder it is to engage your students in learning.  Don’t give up!  Instead, use the holidays to your advantage with holiday or seasonal themed academic activities.  While the primary grades do this like rock stars, upper elementary and secondary teachers can learn from their example.  Here are some fun and engaging Halloween reading activities that will have your students working on key reading skills while having some spooky fun!

Halloween Reading Activities for upper elemetnary

Halloween Book Recommendations

halloween book recommendations for kidsOne fun way to engage your students in reading is to give them recommendations for seasonal or Halloween themed books you think they will like.  If you have a classroom library, then pull out some books that are perfect for fall or Halloween.  Put them on display, talk about your recommendations, maybe even do a Chapter 1 read aloud to get kids hooked. 

If you aren’t sure where to start, I’ve put together a list of 10 Spooky Reads for Kids to get you started. If you don’t have a classroom library, I’m sure your school librarian would love to pop in for just a couple minutes and share some of her favorite books for the season.

You can also let students make recommendations throughout the month.  Do you have a die cut machine at your school?  If so, grab the pumpkin and cut a stack of pumpkins.  Then have students write a short review of the book on the pumpkin.  You can display the pumpkin reviews with the books or just hang them in the classroom.  Student to student recommendations are a great way to get kids interested in reading.

Seasonal Reading Passages

While reading passages and comprehension questions are often met with groans, you’ll be surprised at the reaction you get with a seasonal passage.  Seasonal passages, like this one on Werewolves, Vampires and Frankenstein are sure to grab their attention!  This passage introduces students to the origins of these spooky characters.  After reading, students will answer questions and work on comprehension skills like reading for details, vocabulary and author’s purpose.

Halloween reading passage and comprehension questions

This passage is part of the NO PREP Halloween Reading packet that will keep your kids working right up to the holiday. Since students really love these seasonal passage, I’ve put together some other Halloween themed and seasonal reading passages too! All of these passages are perfect for the days and weeks leading up to Halloween.

 Halloween Reading Games

Any time you can turn learning into a game you have a great chance of increasing engagement.  Add to that a holiday game and it’s almost guaranteed!  These Halloween reading games will have your students begging for time to play!

Halloween Homophones is a matching game that will get your students reading homophones.  But these homophone cards could be used for more than a matching game!  Students could also use them to play a Gold Fish style game where they have to ask for and spell and the homophone they are looking for.  You can also add in a vocabulary aspect by having students define the words before “winning” the pair.

halloween reading activities games to make learning fun

This Halloween Word Search is another game-like activity that kids love.  Don’t be fooled by the fun – students are working on reading and spelling skills as they complete word search activities.  This Halloween word search makes a great morning work or center activity.  You can also use it as party game if you have a Halloween celebration in your room.

halloween reading activities word search

Both of these games can be found in the NO PREP Halloween Reading Pack.

No Prep Halloween Reading Activities for Upper Elementary

Looking for More October or Halloween Activities?

Ready to engage your students with Halloween activities in areas other than reading?   Check out these posts for language arts, writing, math and Project Based Learning ideas that your students will love.

Save these Fun Halloween Reading Activities

Just pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can back and find these Halloween reading activities and resources when you need them!

Halloween Reading Activities Pin

Amy Hughes

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I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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