“The rest of the school was happily anticipating their Hallowe’en feast; the Great Hall had been decorated with the usual live bats, Rubeus Hagrid’s vast pumpkins had been carved into lanterns large enough for three men to sit in, and there were rumours that Albus Dumbledore had booked a troupe of dancing skeletons for the entertainment.” – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
Originated from a Celtic harvest festival or the Christian tradition of All Saint’s Day, Halloween heralds the approaching cold season and is widely celebrated as a non-religious tradition to frighten away evil spirits and ghosts. Lit4School offers a variety of texts for all school types that can serve as a starting point for your Halloween lesson(s): For bewitched and spooky little stories for our younger learners Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Nate the Great and The Halloween Hunt by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Marc Simont, How to Scare a Ghost by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish or Froggy’s Halloween by Jonathan London provide literary stepping stones. Intermediate learners might enjoy R.L. Stine’s collection of short fiction Nightmare Hour, which features a little bit of everything – from mystery and ghost fiction to aliens and witchcraft. Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein about a terrifying creature that haunts his master or the story of the headless horseman in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow are longer works of fiction from the realm of gothic horror that might be suitable for advanced learners of English.
We do hope, that you like our suggestions and would appreciate it, if you would share your suggestions for a Halloween read with us, so we can feature them in our next year’s post.
Have a spooky Halloween with your pupils!
Kind regards and stay safe,