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October Reading Centers for Upper Elementary

Fall is in the air and October is just around the corner.  There’s nothing better than sitting outside with a cup of hot apple cider enjoying the brisk air of autumn.  So fill your language arts lesson plans with these fun and engaging October Reading Centers for Upper Elementary and then take a few minutes to enjoy this amazing time of year.

October Language Arts activities for upper elementary

While October is filled with cool air and changing leaves, it’s also filled with some fun holidays and celebrations.   Engage your students in all of the things October has to offer with these language arts activities and know that your students will be working on key skills at the same time.

October Reading Comprehension

October reading comprehension passages and questions for upper elementary

What do pizza, candy corn and fire all have in common?  They are all things celebrated or observed in the month of October.  Help your students with important reading comprehension skills as they work on these October themed reading comprehension passages:

  1. Pizza – America’s Favorite Food (October is National Pizza Month)
  2. The Great Chicago Fire (2nd Week of October is Fire Prevention Week)
  3. Candy Corn (October 30th is Candy Corn Day – also great towards Halloween)
  4. Trick or Treat! (October 31st is Halloween – use in the week or two before)
  5. Halloween Haunt (poetry) (perfect for the days or weeks leading up to Halloween)

Each of these reading passages and questions provides a great opportunity for students to work on skills like reading for details, word meaning, text analysis and more.

October poetry reading activity for upper elemetnary

There are many ways you can use these passages in the classroom.  Teach reading comprehension skills using a passage as part of a whole class lesson.  You can also easily use these passages as independent practice, homework or for small group instruction.

These passages are also easily used as part of close reading lessons.  With close reading, you use the same passage for multiple days, each day focusing on a different skill.

October ELA Games and Activities

October reading centers for upper elementary

Students love any activity that doesn’t feel like work.  That is why these games are a fun way to get students honing their reading and language arts skills.

Simile and Metaphor Tic-Tac-Toe

Your students will love facing off with a partner in good old game of Tic-Tac-Toe.  But this game has more than just X’s and O’s.  Students will first have to read a sentence and decide if it is a simile or metaphor.  If they are correct, they can play, if not they lose a turn.  Using the answer key, students can check their partner, making this a fun game they can play independently.  You could also play as a class or small group by dividing into two teams.

simile and metaphor game for partners or teams

Fact or Opinion Sorting Center

This center activity is a great way to give students practice reading sentences and deciding if it is a fact or opinion.  Students will read the October themed sentences and then sort them into the right group.  Students can do this on a table or in a pocket chart.

fact or opinion activity for October or Halloween

Halloween Mix-Up

Help your students work on identifying different types of text structures with this Halloween themed cut and paste activity.  Students will work on identifying four different text structures with this hands-on activity.  Students will read the short paragraph and then decide if the text structure is cause & effect, chronology, problem & solution or compare & contrast.

Haunted Homonyms

matching homonyms center activity

This memory matching style game with have students reading and matching homonyms.  Students will love working on identifying the homonyms and trying to remember where they saw a match.  Designed for upper elementary, this homonym matching game gets students beyond the basics like ‘deer and dear’ and into some new homonym pairs.  A great opportunity for building vocabulary too!

October Writing Fun

To round out language arts, we can’t forget about writing.  All of your students, even those reluctant writers, will love these October themed writing activities.

A Halloween Poem

acrostic poem writing activity for Halloween

Students will start by writing a Halloween acrostic poem.  Acrostic poems are perfect to use with a lesson on adjectives or descriptive writing.  This poetry writing and illustrating activity is perfect for a whole class writing lesson or the writing center.

How-To Writing

How to create a costume Halloween writing

Work on writing a how-to instructional text for creating a costume.  While working on writing clear and concise instructions, students also love the creative nature of writing about a costume creation.  Students can start by brainstorming a costume, then use the Pre-Writing Worksheet to organize their thoughts and ideas.  Depending on the time available, students can write one final draft or take this writing through the steps of the writing process.

October Reading Centers for Upper Elementary

You can find all of these October language arts activities in this October Reading Centers resource pack.

October reading centers for upper elementary

More October Learning Fun . . .

If you are looking for more fun and engaging activities for October then make sure to check out:

Save these October Activities

Pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board and save these fun and engaging October reading centers.

October reading centers for upper elementary

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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