Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Halloween Havoc!

So it's coming close to that time of year again - personally one of my favourite times of the year - Halloween!   For those of you planning some Halloween based activities in your classroom, here are some ideas to help you along!

Gaeilge: Oíche Shamhna
Our mála draíochta for Halloween presented us with some Halloween costumes to dress up in. Included in this was a ghost mask, a witches hat, a pumpkin mask and a cat mask. The children pulled out an outfit and put it on them as we named the 'character'. They all lined up and I asked the rest of the class things like: Cé hé an chailleach? Cé hé ___? Cad é seo? srl. We also played the usual games of Cluiche Kim, éist agus dáthaigh and the like!
We also sang the song 'Oíche Shamhna' to the tune of Fréres Jacques!

History/English: Halloween Games:
I read them the story with accompanying video, 'Today is Halloween'. (If you had the hard copy or Big Book of this/a similar story you could integrate this with English!)
 We talked about things the children in the story did at Halloween and things the children in the class usually do/games they play at Halloween. The children then went home and talked to their parents about games they played at Halloween when they were young. We discussed these the following day (Apple Bobbing and Snap Apple) and we watched sections of these videos and discussed whether they ever played them/saw them being played and which they think they would prefer to play. (We played versions of these games during our Halloween party on the last day before midterm!) 

We talked about which games they preferred - today's games or games their parents played. They then folded an A4 page in two and on one half drew a picture of games 'Today' and on the other half, games their parents played.

Religion: Light and Darkness
We sang the Alive-O song about Halloween. I then showed them a little teddy and a shoebox with a hole in the top, big enough to fit a torch in. I shone in the flashlight (as the sun in the sky) and asked how they thought Teddy would feel in the box (Happy - he can see, feels warm etc). I then dimmed the flashlight and stuck it in, telling them it was the moon. I asked how Teddy would feel now (maybe cold, but at least he can still see, so he is happy enough). Then I stuck in the torch a final time, but off this time. We talked about how he felt sad as it is dark, he is scared, cold and can't see. We discussed what makes us feel better if we find ourselves in the dark. We talked about the good things about having the sun and electric lights to brighten up the darkness and thanked God in a 'Prayer of Light' for giving us these things. This provided a good introduction to stories and activities on this subject of 'Light' in religion during the week leading up to Halloween.      

                       Music: Halloween's Coming!
We talked about Halloween sounds and what makes them. We used body percussion and our voices to copy these sounds. Each group got a different sound to portray and decide how they were going to do it. I created a Halloween Music Composition chart using symbols for the different sounds (cat, ghost, door creaking, windy cloud etc) and we performed the sequence of sounds with each group waiting until I pointed to their symbol to perform their sound. We created some pretty spooky music!
We also learned the song, Halloween's coming, from the Right Note, Senior Infants which featured some more fun Halloween sound effects! 

Art: Cotton Wool Ghosts
Nothing too strenuous this time on the art front for this theme I'm afraid! One of the Halloween art projects we undertook was making these ghosts with cotton wool. We talked about scary faces and how to make our ghost's face look. We drew a ghost shape onto a sheet of card, drew a scary face on it, cut it out and stuck on little bits of cotton wool, front and back. We then hung them up around the room for a spooooky atmosphere!

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