Terrifying Times: A Halloween Writing Activity

Are you still looking for Halloween-related activities? A ghost story can help students review and practice adverb clauses of time.  The exercise will be more meaningful if at least part of the story is composed by the students themselves. The writing practice can then lead into reading and speaking practice depending on how you ask the students to share their work.

Step 1 – Discuss common elements in ghost stories. List nouns and verbs on the board as they are suggested. Your list of nouns might include footsteps, victim, and shadow. Your list of verbs might include scream and creak.

Step 2 – Brainstorm a third list of words – adjectives you would expect to find in a ghost story. Ask them to provide synonyms for words such as scared and scary.

Step 3 – Hand out the gapped text titled The Haunted Hotel. Students will have approximately 15 minutes to complete it. Explain that the word lists are there to provide some ideas, but students are not required to use them.

Step 4 – Have students pair up and exchange papers. Partners will read and comment on the author’s story. Corrections may be suggested.

Step 5 – Have students form small groups of about three or four so that they are no longer with their former partner. In these small groups, authors will take turns reading their stories aloud.

Step 6 – Optional: Invite students to publish their stories in text or audio form on your class or school website.

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