Literacy Word Work Ideas for Halloween
The month of October is full of excitement for kiddos. They just cannot wait for Halloween! So, it’s important that we use their excitement as a way to approach learning for the month. You can lean in to the excitement centered around Halloween, simply. You just need to include fun Halloween themed tools as a part of your literacy instruction. Read on for some new literacy word work ideas to try out this October!
Beginning Sounds Sort
For this activity, you’ll need some notecards or cut up sentence strips, or really any small paper. You’ll also need Halloween themed objects, that are identifiable to your students. This activity can be done in small groups, or, as a whole class via your document camera.
Here are the steps to set up your beginning sounds sort:
- Grab your pieces of paper and put different letters on each one (which match up to the beginning sounds of the objects).
- Review these letter sounds with your students.
- Place the Halloween themed objects in front of students.
- Students will then need to pick an object, say what it is, and state the beginning sound of that object.
- The student will then place the object under that matching letter.
- Repeat until all the beginning sounds have been identified, for each object.
Literacy Word Work IdeaS: CVC Word Reading
Early readers often need frequent practice with CVC word reading. When you add in a physical action, as they’re practicing reading these words, it often helps.
You can simply write down a few CVC words for students to practice. This works great in a small group, or even 1:1. You know all the other kids will be anxiously awaiting their turn to use each tool, in the same way!
Here are some Halloween themed tools you can use:
For all of these, students will be doing the action while saying each sound in the word.
- Orange beaded necklace: Touch a bead
- Skull with moving mouth: Open and make the skull’s mouth move
- Squishy pumpkin: Squeeze the pumpkin
- Skeleton hand clapper: Shake the clapper
- Spider skateboard: Roll the skateboard
Sentence Reading and Comprehension
As a continuation of the beginning sound identification activity, students can now practice reading words in context. This activity allows students to not only practice reading short sentences, but also ensures they are understanding what they’re reading. The comprehension piece is just as important as actually reading, as we know!
Using the same objects, specifically ones that have simple spelling, you can write a simple sentence: I see the bat. Students will then read the sentence and then choose the matching object. Using the example below, you can write “I see the cat.” as the next sentence.
You could then do a follow up activity where each student writes a similar sentence. Students can then partner up and read each other’s sentences.
This works with more advanced students too. You can simply use the harder to spell objects!
I love talking about fluency. It’s so important for all readers to develop their fluency skills. It impacts so much of their reading, so it’s important to practice often! Applying what they’ve learned from the above literacy word work ideas, students can work on fluency.
For early readers, they can practice fluency with short simple sentences, phrases or questions. You can make this extra fun, with a Halloween theme, by adding vampire teeth and fun glasses. Place a few options of glasses and teeth at a center. Students won’t actually need to put the silly teeth in their mouth, but can physically move the teeth as they read. Of course, if you do have one set of teeth for each student, then they can actually put them in their mouth for some silly sentence reading!
Students will pick a pair of glasses and/or teeth and then practice reading the sentences, aloud. They can read to themselves, or to a partner.
The goal of this activity is for students to focus on reading with expression and at a good verbal reading pace. The teeth and glasses just add a new dimension of excitement to this activity!
If you’re looking for more literacy ideas for the month of October, here are two more Halloween themed posts:
You may also want to check out my Halloween reading passages for early readers! Click here for the printable version and here for the digital!