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Pumpkin and Ghost Garland

How to decorate for Halloween? Why not make a cool, spooky garland featuring your favorite scary story characters!

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Read several Halloween books—mysteries, funny stories, or other tales to students. First in a small group, and then with the whole class, invite students to discuss their favorites. Decide which story elements are present in all of these tales. List and compare the characters and settings. Prepare students to make a festive garland that depicts the characters and setting in their favorite stories.
    2. Using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, students color small paper plates orange to represent jack-o’-lanterns. Create funny faces by erasing shapes to form eyes and other features. Outline or fill in the shapes with another color. Color other plates black. Erase parts of them to create spooky ghosts or witches. Color more plates red. Erase them to weave delicate spider webs.
    3. Students cut paper plates to make a tiny Boo banner, crescent moon, stems, leaves, twirly vines, or other Halloween symbols. Decorate them. If so desired, make cutouts in plates so tiny decorations can be strung inside with thread. Attach cutouts with Crayola Glue Sticks.
    4. Ask students to punch holes in plates. String Halloween characters on a colorful ribbon. Hang the garland on a door frame, student desk, or in a hallway.
    5. Students prepare to discuss their choices of garland decorations. How do they represent the holiday?
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

    LA: Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: A Happy Halloween: A Children's Halloween Picture Book by Lynn R. Davis; Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson; The 13 Nights of Halloween by Guy Vasilovich; Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane.

    Working in small groups, students compose math word problems related to their combined garland pieces. Students my focus on addition, subtraction, patterns, etc. in their problems. Swap problems with another group and solve!

    Students adapt this lesson format to celebrate other holidays and seasons by creating garlands depicting favorite songs, books, and/or stories.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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