I know you already know what your lessons and programs will be- I had to plan months in advance when I worked in the public library and in the schools (why yes, I did work in both). For October, for the little ones, I had programs on bats and pumpkins and owls. For kids a little older, I made Jell-o brains and did programs on monsters… and for upper elementary, I told scary stories, with the lights out. Fourth and fifth graders like to think they are so cool, and they’ll tell you they are scare-proof, but High Beams scared them stiff and Tailypo mesmerized them. If they’d been a little older, I would have loved to do a reading of the Tell-Tale Heart.
So already this year I have gotten a call from my son’s school, where they were concerned because he kept asking for books about monsters and didn’t want the non-scary, age-appropriate suggestions he was given. And when they talked about school parties Halloween was not one they mentioned. Valentine’s Day, sure, but not Halloween. I hope they just overlooked it. It is such a great opportunity to get kids involved in art projects, practicing listening and speaking skills (I’ve taught storytelling to third graders), measurement (my son is obsessed with Halloween cookbooks, and you’ve got to be able to measure to cook).
One of the coolest places we get hits from here is a lesson plan from a education website, and that always brings us extra visitors at this time of year. And here’s a site that just linked to us as a good place to come to build literacy skills. There is a place for Halloween and for a good scary story in the classroom or library. How do you incorporate these into your lesson plans or library programming? If you send me your plans, I’ll post them on the site for other teachers and librarians to find.