has been a bit of controversy over Halloween in the public schools
in recent years, but, as with other traditional holidays, it can
be a lot of fun for young people and can provide a chance to inject
a bit of education into the mix. Along with exploring the historical
basis of Halloween and its evolution through time, there are several
activities that can be coordinated for the classroom. Halloween
activities can also be organized within your community as an addition
or an alternative to a night out trick or treating.
are a few ideas to consider:
with many holidays that have been celebrated throughout human
history, Halloween has an interesting origin that is all but forgotten
in our present day cultures. By exploring the pagan beginnings
of Halloween and the many similar holidays that have been celebrated
in various cultures, young people can learn about the old belief
systems and mythologies of our ancient ancestors. By tracking
the development of Halloween through time, students can also learn
how old ideas are modified and passed along between generations
and how many different ideas that were once a part of Halloween
can now be found in a number of different outlets within society.
friends to dress up as there favorite monster for a costume contest.
To add a learning activity to the event, consider a talent contest
where young people have to provide a description of the particular
monster they are dressed up as, any myths, legends or beliefs
that are associated with that monster, special powers that the
monster has and why those powers are unlikely to exist in the
real world. You can add as many categories to the talent contest
as you like and set up various criteria for judging the winner.
can be a fun activity when everyone gets home from trick or treating.
You can have a campfire in the back and invite the neighborhood
to come round for a night of spooky stories 'round the fire. There
are lots of books of ghost stories - even ones that are claimed
to be based on true stories. You can recount these tales and ask
people what they think about the stories - what other explanations
could account for the activities that are described and what would
it mean if ghosts were real. You can also make up your own ghost
stories individually or as a group. In the group situation, one
person starts with a sentence or two and the story continues with
each person adding a new bit.
will soon be adding a "how-to" guide for setting up
an Haunted House of your own and using it to learn about the
various claims that have been made about hauntings and what
alternative explanations have been found to help shed light
on the unusual phenomena.