Make Halloween a Day of Engagement with Science

As Halloween approaches, educators know the excitement and fun of the holiday can also bring disruptions to the classroom. In an effort to incorporate learning on such an eventful day, try to make Halloween a day of engagement- with science!

Many educators opt for a science-based day of activities with center activities that explore the mysterious nature of our natural world. This offers opportunities to create a fun learning environment for students.

For Halloween this year, embrace the mysteries of the natural world by creating science learning investigations. If you want to know what students would be interested in doing, ask them for feedback and how it connects to school. The information you gain from hearing students’ views on activities might surprise you.

In the meantime, here are a few ideas to help you start thinking about and planning for a day of science-based fun on Halloween!

Center Ideas and Topics

Science Centers- Create science center activities for students to explore in small groups throughout the day. Rotations can last 10-20 minutes depending on grade level and class personality.

Science center topics could include studies of strange animals and where they live, the human body systems with a focus on the skeletal and circulatory systems, the lunar phases and how they impact people, the effects of sugar on the human body, slime lab, spider hydraulic legs design, designing bat ears to increase echolocation, investigating cats’ paws, unusual astrological events, etc.

Cross-curricular Center Ideas

Morning Routines- Students share their costume, why they chose it, and what part they like best or least about the costume.

Social Science/Literacy Centers- Topics could include discovering the origins of Halloween, poetry made from a themed word bank, tales from Anansi the Spider, compare and contrast celebrations throughout the world, paired reading of spooky poetry, design a costume based on a favorite fictional character, etc.

Math Centers- Create activities with estimation jars for candies, nutrition label math for recommended consumption amounts, class graphs for costume themes, etc.

On a day filled with excitement, make the most of the learning opportunities to bring Halloween mystery and fun into your science lessons!

Try a FOSS fall favorite activity with Mr. Bones! From the NEW FOSS Pathways Senses and Survival Module, Investigation 2, students construct Mr. Bones, a 2-d paper human skeleton “model”. Download the Mr. Bones student sheets and have students create the skeleton with paper fasteners.

Rosanna Ayers – Educational Leader

Former Director of Youth Education at the Biomimicry Institute and County Office Science Coordinator. Bachelor of Science in International Business, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, an Administrative Service Credential, and a Master of Education in Leadership and School Development, with an emphasis on Next Generation Science Standards. Rosanna has her Biomimicry Practitioners Certificate and teaches graduate-level integrated science courses at a university teacher preparation program. Rosanna is currently an education doctoral candidate in UC Berkeley’s LEAD program.