I love Halloween. I love the costumes, the candy, the whole kit-and-caboodle.
But as a teacher, it is one heck of an exhausting day.
My annual pun-themed costume.
Any day where students are in costume and/or eating lots of sugar, instruction is going to be difficult. In fact, I’ve found that anything that involves instructions is near impossible. Which is why, in my English class on Halloween, we listen to a podcast.
It is an episode of Radio Lab about a (potentially) haunted house. It’s a true story, it’s interesting, it’s a little scary, and it’s full of heart. I’ve listened to it countless times and I still love it.
*Be warned, there is one curse word at the very beginning.
While the students are listening, I ask them to create a sketch note of what they hear. This technique will have been pre-taught in my class, but if you are not familiar with the process check this out.
Essentially, whenever something stands out to them, I ask them to write a word, phrase, or draw a sketch to represent it. Then to include “structure,” arrows and other symbols that create a sense of flow within the notes.
They may end up looking something like this:
The combination of giving the kids something to listen to and something to do, results in a pretty peaceful Halloween for everyone involved. (Not to mention, hitting some "Speaking & Listening" Common Core State Standards for the day.)
Have a safe and happy Halloween!