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Witching You a Happy Halloween

Subjects:

Art, Computers & Internet, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies  

Grade:

4  

Title – Witching You a Happy Halloween
By – Megan Renart
Primary Subject - Math, Social Studies, Art, Language Arts, Computers / Internet
Secondary Subjects - 
Grade Level – Fourth

Unit: Halloween Unit Length: The Month of October

Essential Questions:

      How did Halloween begin?
      What will be your contribution to Halloween?
      What are some of the ways we can demonstrate our knowledge of Halloween?
      What are some of the customs of Halloween?
    Can Halloween be a part of different subjects?

Activities:

      Activity One is 35-40 minutes
      Activity Two is 60 minutes
      Activity Three is 45 minutes
      Activity Four is 35 minutes
    Activity Five is 50 minutes

“Witching You a Happy Halloween” is a unit for the entire month of October, with the last activity on Halloween, or the day closest to if it is on a weekend. I have attached a calendar which displays which weeks, or days, certain activities take place. The unit is based on many aspects of Halloween: origins, customs, its role in society today, practical applications and literature. I have selected two trade books which will be read throughout the entire unit. One book is a wealth of information on customs, history, spells, ghost stories, etc and is a platform for several activities that ask for either inventive work or practical application. The other is fictitious and is to stir the imagination and inspire creative writing.

Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, Drama, Art, Technology and Healthful Living are a part of this unit. By this time of year, students have been exposed to poetry, addition, subtraction and multiplication. They have navigated webquests; both on their own and with the guidance of an instructor. They have illustrated pieces of work and have drawn pictures to accompany writing. They have engaged in physical activity as a group in order to play games.

In this unit, students will listen to literature, create Halloween poems and illustrations, participate in a multiplication activity, learn about the history of Halloween, plan a Halloween party, and write a short story based on one of the trade books.
October Timeline

DAY 1
Activity One
The Witches & Chills and Thrills
DAY 2
Activity One
The Witches & Chills and Thrills
DAY 3
Activity One
The Witches & Chills and Thrills
DAY 4
Activity One
The Witches & Chills and Thrills
DAY 5
Activity One
The Witches & Chills and Thrills
DAY 6
Activity One
Chills and Thrills
Activity Two
DAY 7
Activity One
Chills and Thrills
Activity Two
DAY 8
Activity One
Chills and Thrills
Activity Two
DAY 9
Activity One
Chills and Thrills
Activity Two
DAY 10
Activity One
Chills and Thrills
Activity Two
DAY 11
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Three
DAY 12
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Three
DAY 13
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Three
DAY 14
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Three
DAY 15
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Three
DAY 16
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Four
DAY 17
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Four
DAY 18
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Four
DAY 19
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Four
DAY 20
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Four
DAY 21
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Five
DAY 22
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Five
DAY 23
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Five
DAY 24
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Five
DAY 25
Activity One
-both books–
Activity Five

 


Activity One: Bewitched by Literature

Purpose: This activity is an introduction to the unit; a launching pad of sorts. I believe that literature can and must be a part of all lessons. It is important for students to listen to stories read aloud to them in order to inspire them and further develop the creative mind. I want them to have incredible pictures in their minds when the stories are read. It is also crucial that students make connections throughout the entire unit. We will be engaging in activities based on these trade books during the unit.

Content: Language Arts: Poetry and/or various forms of text

Multiple Intelligences: Linguistic, Spatial

Language Arts Objective(s): 2.03 Read a variety of texts

Assessment: Teacher Observation

Read Aloud:

The Little Big Book of Chills and Thrills by Lena Tabori
Beginning on day one, read this book aloud each day, picking a small, different section to read aloud; a poem, ghost story, superstitions, spells, magic tricks, treats and last but not least, the history of Halloween. The read aloud (and pictures of the text) is excellent for auditory and visual learners. This book also sets the stage for extended activities, which include poetry writing, drawing, technology and social studies.

The Witches by Roald Dahl
A young boy and his grandmother plot to overthrow a community of world wide witches. The book is full of imagination, wonderful vocabulary, fantastic imagery and mischievousness. This book will be read out loud every day of the month until it is finished.

Resources:

The Little Big Book of Chills and Thrills by Lena Tabori
The Witches by Roald Dahl


Activity Two: “Poemoween”

Purpose: Not all children enjoy writing, especially creative writing. I want them to learn that writing can be really fun. In our poem writing activity, spelling and grammar will not be graded–yet. That will be incorporated as they continue to write. For this activity, however, they will not be expected to produce perfect writing, because that can be a deterrent.

Content:

      Language Arts: Poetry and/or various forms of text
    Art: Drawing with various instruments (yarn, markers, and colored pencils).

Bloom’s Taxonomy: Synthesize and Application. Students will be integrating knowledge of Halloween and poetry into their own poems, as well as drawing accompanying pictures which include visualizing a picture around an object (explained below).

Multiple Intelligences: Linguistic, Spatial Intelligence

North Carolina Standard Course of Study:

      Language Arts Objective(s):
      2.03 Read a variety of texts
      4.07 Compose fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using self-selected and assigned topics and forms
      Art Objective(s):
      2.03 Increase skills with familiar materials
    3.04 Exercise flexibility when approaching a problem-solving situation

Assessment: checklist (see below)

“Poemoween”: Students will write their own poems, and later create drawings which will be used to mount their poems. After reading several poems, conduct a discussion with students about the elements of the poem (which they have covered in previous lessons). Place one or two poems on the overhead to specifically point out elements such as description and major points. Create a word map on the board with “My Halloween Poem” in a circle. Ask students to contribute ideas to include in their poem, and write them on the ‘spokes’ coming out of the circle (example: ‘pumpkin’ ‘cats’, ‘goblins’ ‘witches’ etc). Then ask students to contribute as many descriptive words as possible (‘bloody’ ‘drip’ terrifying’) and write the words on the wall next to the word map. Next, ask them to assist you in brainstorming the action of the poem, and come up with verbs, such as “running, waiting, scattering” and list those on the wall as well. Next, model poem writing. “I want to write about a cat, what should the cat be doing in my poem?” Choose words, out loud, that you would like to include in the poem. “Hmm, I like the word inky. I think I’ll use that to describe the sky”. Demonstrate that not all descriptive words work together. For instance, “inky pumpkin” doesn’t make sense. List a few more examples of words that do go together and words that do not go together, making sure that you discuss these out loud as well as write them on the board so both auditory and visual learners will benefit. (A kinesthetic approach will be discussed later on). Ask students for their help. Write another poem that is different from the first one so that students do not feel like they should copy yours, perhaps a humorous poem so that the kids are even more inspired. Create a checklist on the board “Does my poem have…a title? A subject? Descriptive words?” Etc. Have students help you mark off the elements from your poem. Students should copy the checklist into their notebooks. Students then will make their own word maps and choose ideas from the board, or ideas that they imagine on their own, and fill in the word map. Next, they will choose descriptive words to incorporate into their poem. Then they will write their poem, and use the checklist at the end to ensure that they incorporated all elements of poetry that the teacher specified.

Art: Teacher should place three different examples up on the walls ahead of time. Students will be given construction paper and different pieces of yarn. The students will drop the yarn on to the construction paper until they can visualize a picture around it. This drawing will be Halloween themed, and yet the variations of pictures will be tremendous. They will glue the yarn to the paper, and make their drawing around it, with colored pencils, markers, crayons, or other pieces of yarn and construction paper. At the end, the students will copy their poems onto their drawings.

Options for Differentiated Instruction: In addition to the intelligences listed above, there is a variation for kinesthetic learners. For kinesthetic learners, one option is to create a varied version of Magnetic Poetry. (The children would be given a choice of either writing the poem in method written above, or this version.) The children could write down descriptive words in markers on construction paper, and cut out all of the words into squares. Next they would write down nouns and verbs, and cut them out. The teacher should be engaging in the activity as well, with his or her work up on an overhead so that those students who need a visual model will see exactly what is happening. Walk around and assist students in mixing up the words in order to create a poem.

Assessment: The checklist, which both students and teachers can check off. The student should check their poem first, and the teacher can use the same checklist or modify the list according to his or her desire. I would not include ‘Is every word spelled correctly?’ as one of the items because my goal is to get them used to writing poetry and think of it in a fun way. Spelling and grammar will be introduced as the amount of poetry writing increases.

Resources:

      Art Supplies (Yarn, Construction Paper, Glue, Markers, Crayons, Scissors. Colored Pencils)
      Whiteboard, markers
      Clear area on desk
      Thesaurus
      Poem Idea self generated
      Art Activity generated from Marilyn Preddy

www.amazon.com

—————–

Checklist

Does my poem have… YES NO

A title?

Descriptive words?

Nouns?

Action words?

A picture?

Is it copied onto the picture?

Is it about Halloween?


Activity Three: (Spider) Webquest

Purpose: Students will learn how Halloween originated, while developing their higher level thinking skills by researching facts and applying them to a practical situation: a Halloween party that they must plan.

Content:

      Technology (navigating webquests)
      Social Studies (the history of Halloween)
    Math (creating a Halloween party on a budget)

Bloom’s Taxonomy:

      Knowledge: history of Halloween and webquests
    Application: designing a Halloween party with acquired knowledge

Multiple Intelligences: Linguistic, Logical Mathematical

North Carolina Standard Course of Study:

      Technology Skills Objective(s):
      2.1 Use technology tools used to collect, analyze, and display data
      3.2 Search and sort prepared databases for information to use in classroom projects
      Mathematic Objective:
      1.05 Develop flexibility in solving problems by selecting strategies and using mental computation, estimation, calculators or computers, and paper and pencil.
      Social Studies:
      5.01 Explain different celebrated holidays, special days, and cultural traditions in North Carolina communities.
    3.04 Compare and contrast ways in which people, goods, and ideas moved in the past with their movement today.

Assessment: “My Halloween Party” homework assignment and “3 Things”. (See below)

Schedule five visits to the computer lab for about 45 minutes. Every session should be guided. During the first two sessions, visit the website http://www.holidays.net/halloween/story.htm. Have your computer hooked up to the main display so that the children will see the information in front of them. Read aloud the history of Halloween. Have the children read it again. Engage in discussion, asking questions about Halloween. Write “Now” and “Then” on the board for a discussion to contrast and compare how Halloween has not always been the same, making sure to write down the differences under the corresponding column.

Finally, the children are to list three to five facts about Halloween that they didn’t know before and learned during this activity, and turn it into the teacher.

Resources:

      Computer Lab, computers
      Big screen monitor
      White board, markers
      My Halloween Party worksheet (attached)
      Paper, pencils
      www.google.com

http://www.kenton.k12.ky.us/Webquest/Hallowe1.htm
http://www.holidays.net/halloween/story.htm

Idea for lesson self generated


Activity Three: Spider Web of Multiplication

Content: Math (Multiplication)

Purpose: Can multiplication be fun? Students will see a visual demonstration of the way multiplication tables are connected by creating a web of times tables.

Bloom’s Taxonomy: Knowledge and Application

Multiple Intelligences: Interpersonal, Kinesthetic, Logical Mathematical, Spatial

North Carolina Standard Course of Study:

      Math 1.02 Develop fluency with multiplication and division
    Healthful Living 10.03 Work cooperatively and productively with a partner or small group.

Assessment: teacher observation (see below)

Spider Web Activity: This activity entails students forming a large circle. The teacher begins by holding a ball of yarn (preferably black for Halloween) and explaining that each person will recite a times table and the answer (“nine times nine is eighty nine”) and, holding on to their piece of yarn, throw the ball to someone else. The teacher will model by reciting a multiplication table out loud and, holding on to the yarn, throw the rest of the yarn to a student across the circle. A spider web forms as each student maintains their piece of yarn and it travels from person to person as they recite multiplication tables. As closure, the teacher drops his or her end of the string and asks one or more students to do the same. The result is a ruined spider web because it starts to collapse. The teacher guides students to making the connection that knowledge of all multiplication tables is necessary or else there is no foundation. There is also a connection to classroom community and teamwork, and the teacher will guide students into talking about the importance of each individual and their contribution to the class.

Assessment: The teacher is able to identify the areas of weakness in times tables in either individual students or a class as a whole because the teacher is playing with the students. The discussion that ensues during and after the activity will allow the teacher to assess students’ grasp of the connections made, especially by asking students questions, such as, “Why did the rest of the spider web fall down?” “But why did we use multiplication? What does that have to do with spider webs?” “Can we be a part of the spider web?”

Resources: Yarn, large space to form a class circle

Idea for lesson generated from class experience (Creative Drama for the Classroom) at UNCG


Activity Four: Witches Here, Witches There, Witches Everywhere!

Purpose: Students will connect with The Witches by Roald Dahl by writing a creative story based on a writing prompt given by the teacher.

Content: Literature, Writing, Technology

Multiple Intelligences: Logistical-Mathematical, Spatial, Linguistic

North Carolina Standard Course of Study:

      Language Arts
      2.02 Interact with the text before, during, and after reading, listening, and viewing
      2.09 Listen actively
      3.01 Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative
      4.03 Make oral and written presentations using visual aids with an awareness of purpose and audience.
      4.07 Compose fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using self-selected and assigned topics and forms (e.g., personal and imaginative narratives, research reports, diaries, journals, logs, rules, instructions).
      Computer/Technology Skills
    3.1 Create, format, save, and print a word processed document.

Teacher will finish reading the end of The Witches by Roald Dahl with pauses for comprehension questions and interaction. A discussion will follow at the end. Students will write a response to a writing prompt (You are walking to school one morning when a witch crosses your path…). The writing prompts will vary from student to student so that a sequential story will be created by each student’s participation. They will incorporate technology by typing up their story on the computer so that the class can make a book together. They will type it on Microsoft Word and draw an accompanying picture, either on KidPix or by hand, it’s their choice. The teacher can use the computers in the computer lab or in the classroom depending on the needs of the other classes.

Assessment: The teacher will be able to assess the students’ grasp of creative writing in order to determine what areas need to be worked on according to each student, since not every student writes the same way. Reading the stories will be a great way to determine what should be covered in each child’s writing conferences with the teacher.

Resources:

      Writing Prompts for each student
      Paper and pencils for rough drafts
    Computer Lab or computers in classroom

Idea generated from internship in fourth grade classroom


Activity Five: Frozen Tableau

Purpose: Students will engage in a frozen tableau in order to connect emotionally with The Witches. It is also a platform from which to build on for future frozen tableau activities during the year. It is also an excellent way to build empathy for others.

Content: Drama, Literature

Multiple Intelligences: Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Spatial

Bloom’s Taxonomy: Analysis, Synthesize

North Carolina Standard Course of Study:

      Healthful Living:
      4.01 Recognize and demonstrate the importance of facial expression, body language, and verbal expression in communication.
      10.03 Work cooperatively and productively with a partner or small group.
      Theatre Arts:
      1.04 Develop and utilize basic creative drama vocabulary.
      1.06 Refine reading comprehension by using verbal and non-verbal communication.
      2.06 Demonstrate ideas and emotions using gestures, blocking and movement.
      4.05 Compromise with peers in small group decision making about artistic choices.
    4.09 Relate what characters think and feel during a dramatic scene.

The teacher will have a conversation with students about a frozen tableau, a drama activity, and explain to students that the goal is to create a scene from The Witches. In essence, a frozen tableau is like the game ‘Statues’, except the ‘actors’ are expected to freeze for a longer period of time in the position they have chosen to communicate which scene they are representing. It is important that the teacher guides students into feeling the emotions of characters. The teacher should give examples from a different story they have read and ask, “How would you feel if you were the little boy in this story?” and so forth until the teacher can see that the students are identifying with characters and getting the ‘heartbeat’.

Next the teacher should ask students to volunteer scenes from The Witches that really stood out, and write them on the board. The teacher should model an example or two, talking about loud about a scene that she could choose, and then asking, “what would the grandson feel when he was turned into a mouse? Would he be happy? No? You’re right, he would be scared. What does a scared face look like? Do you stand straight up when you are scared? No, that’s right, you probably curl up very small.” The teacher should model this for another scene so that students can see how a frozen tableau works.

The teacher will then break the students into small groups of three or four, and ask each group to pick a scene from the book, either listed on the board or otherwise, to create a frozen tableau. Students will spend the rest of the session working on their frozen tableaus. It is crucial for the teacher to walk around and spend time with each group, guiding them into creating a scene that students will be able to clearly identify through body language and facial expression.

During the remainder of the week, two groups will have the chance to demonstrate their own frozen tableau each day. Only two groups should go at a time, because it is important for the teacher to lead the class in a discussion about each tableau. For example, the teacher should ask, “What do you see? Why do you think this tableau is about the Grand High Witch zapping another witch? How can you tell who the Grand High Witch is in this scene? Oh, she is standing taller than everyone else? What about the other witches? Are they comfortable around her? Right, they aren’t. What about their bodies tells you that they are scared of her?” This type of questioning should continue through each tableau.

After the groups have gone each day, the teacher should lead a class discussion about the activity, asking students to contribute what they think was positive about the frozen tableaus.

The frozen tableau activity should continue to be used for the rest of the year as a way of connecting to various topics: the Pilgrims approaching Native Americans, slavery, and so forth. Any piece of literature can be used as most topics in Social Studies.

The students will continue to get better and better at frozen tableaus and connecting to the ‘heartbeat’ of the story or topic as their experience increases.

Assessment: Teacher observation, conversation.

Resources:
Large space to work in
Whiteboard, markers

Idea generated from “Creative Drama for the Classroom” at UNCG

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