So, this October, here are some of the lessons that I'm brewing up in my classroom.
1. We are reading the play "Sorry, Wrong Number". This eerie tale is in our new Literature book this year, and it's my first time teaching this story. Before reading, I'm showing my students a Powerpoint that explains the history of the telephone. Some of my kids have never heard a busy signal, and some do not even realize there was a time when there was no caller ID. I feel 100 years old when I tell them about growing up with a rotary phone where you put your finger in a hole and turned the little plate to dial a number!
2. We will also read the teleplay "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street". This is one of the Twilight Zone episodes, so after reading the play, we will watch the episode. It's on Netflix!
3. We will have our Dead Word Funeral next week. This is the perfect way to teach students about word choice. Each student chooses an overused word to "lay to rest". They write obituaries and eulogies for the word, and then illustrate the word on a notecard. I call the local mortuary, borrow a small casket, and we go outside during the class period, and hold our funeral. It's a very sad affair, as I give my students points for acting the part by crying and carrying on. Students take turns reading their eulogies and placing their word cards in the casket. We sing a couple of songs, and then sadly return to class. After the funeral, we eat cake squares. Later, we display the cards on a bulletin board, and I tell students they can no longer use these words in their writing.
4. We will write "body part" lunes using gummy candy. I find the big bags of gummy eyeballs, feet, hands, and ears. Lunes are short and fun to write. We will also write candy corn haiku, of course while eating the delicious little triangles! Check out this resource if you want to have printable handouts and examples for these types of poems.
5. On Halloween day, I always read the short story "Duffy's Jacket". It's just the right length for one class period, and full of spooky suspense. My students are always on the edge of their seats listening to this story. Of course, at just the right spot in the story, I always slam my hands down and scare 'em a little! :)