One of my students’ favorite projects was working together to make a Halloween writing project. We bound it into a book for a lasting memory. The parents loved it too.
One of my upper elementary students’ favorite projects was the annual Halloween Writing Class Project. They giggled, gasped, and groaned as they read each other’s scary and mysterious stories. But I never saw them stop reading. They love scary stories at this age.
It all started one year when we were reading The Witch’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg. If I’m going to be honest, he’s my favorite author for reading aloud with my students in the fall season.
Allsburg does his own artwork, and he has some characteristics that you can teach the students to look for while you’re reading. For example, his books have his pet dog in one of the pictures. In The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, the dog’s name is Fritz.
After reading some not-too-scary books with my students, they’re happy to see that scary books can be funny too. They can also have happy endings. They don’t need blood or violence to be scary.
The wonderful thing about these books I just mentioned is they have the intimation of something sinister, which is just enough to get the creative juices flowing in your upper elementary students’ imaginations.
Start With a Halloween Writing Prompt
Have you ever shown your class an interesting picture and told them to write about it? They’ll come up with amazing ideas. For example:
Share this photo and ask your students to tell a story about this dog. Why is the dog dressed up and going trick-or-treating? How did it get out of the house? What’s going to happen as it visits the neighbors’ houses?
Writing with SWSBST
That’s not a typo. SWSBST is a way for students to remember the parts of a good narrative.
- Somebody wanted something, but they couldn’t get it or have it.
- So they did this and created a problem.
- Then they did this to solve the problem.
It’s a more extensive way of looking at the Character, Setting, Problem, Solution model.
The dog Rufus wanted treats, but his owner told him no. So, he dressed up like a ghost and took a treat tub to the neighbors’ houses. But this was a big problem, because the neighbor next door didn’t recognize Rufus, and called animal control. Then, Rufus ran home, and he rang his own doorbell. When his owner saw him, he gave him a dog treat.
This is super simplistic, but it gives you an example of how this writing system pans out.
Of course, your students are going to add lots of fun and scary details. In the end, if they use SWSBST, they’ll have a complete story.
Create a Halloween Writing Class Book
You can do this digitally or in print, but I think print is more fun.
Once students have completed their stories, and illustrated them if you want them to do that, you can bind the stories together in a class book. Simply put a laminated paper cover and back on the stack of stories and use comb binding to hold it together.
Put it in your class library so students can read their friends’ stories during reading time. Better yet, make a few copies so friends can read with friends!
One year, the parents of my students asked for their own copies. It turned out to be a popular project!
Get 3 Halloween Picture Writing Prompts F-R-E-E
I have a set of three Halloween picture writing prompts and the writing paper to go with it in the Member Vault for you. If you forgot the password, just enter your email again, and it will be in your inbox in a flash.
These are three new pictures that you won’t find in my Narrative Writing for Halloween product. That product has 20 different pictures and writing pages so you can have a class set of totally different stories!
Have fun writing with your students this October season!