As we start back to school, al of usl start planning our plans, anticipating a fun, learning, school year. Just around the corner from the first day of school is Halloween. (You know, that day or two when half of the class had too much candy for breakfast and the other half is asleep because of midnight pranks.) What would be seasonal fun to stir everyone up and yet be educational? Author Neil Gaiman has come to our aid, fellow teachers!
Last year in his blog (http://journal.neilgaiman.com/search/label/All%20Hallow%27s%20Read ), Mr. Gaiman suggested that people give out scary books instead of candy for trick-or-treat, and call it All Hallow’s Read. Perhaps this was a lark or perhaps some dentist suggested this wicked alternative, but the trend is catching on. Try searching #allhallowsread on Twitter. Of course there is a website, www.allhallowsread.com, complete with suggested titles, graphics, and reviews from others, including Stephen King, who fully endorses the project, of course! Scary fun and Reading!
Ok, try this on like a ninja turtles costume; One ultra conservative district I know appeases both sides by having School Spirit week the same week as Halloween. You can dress-up and pass out candy or books all in the name of School Spirit.
Or use it as a curricular tie-in. If you are teaching the novel The Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley-Holland compare the medieval All Hallow’s Eve traditions with modern Halloween. Use it as a cultural study and wind it up with All Hallow’s Read party. (At this point, I am tempted to suggest bobbing for apples. In my classes, many students had never bobbed for apples. Then again, maybe too messy and unsanitary.)
Or how about an Edgar Allan Poe unit to commemorate his death on October 7, 1849? Discuss his body of work. Look at his life and times. Then celebrate All Hallow’s Read with some dramatic readings.