Halloween Activities: Introducing ghosts to your students!
Is it a bit of a taboo subject in class – death? Well, we have to admit that it’s not your average topic of discussion in a classroom environment. However, somehow when the Halloween season arrives, everything is about death, zombies and ghosts! Seizing this seasonal opportunity, we suggest some Halloween activities to do in class with your students. But before doing so… a warning! Do not use activities which might upset students in your culture! You have to be sensitive when dealing with death, ghosts, vampires, zombies and intolerance. Also, keep in mind that the following activities are for learners at CEFR levels B1-B2+.
Some keywords to familiarize students with the topic.
Vampire: (in stories) a dead person who comes back to life and sucks blood from other people at night
Ghost: The spirit of a dead person, sometimes represented as a pale, almost transparent image of that person that some people believe appears to people who are alive.
Some of the most famous ghosts in English literature that you would like to introduce to your students are Hamlet’s father in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, those appearing to Scrooge in Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and Wilde’s ‘The Canterville Ghost’.
Tell us about a vampire or ghost film you have seen.
Read or tell short ghost stories in class. Do you have any in your culture?
“It was a dark and stormy night…” Write a ghost / scary story
A bit of advice from Roald Dahl: 'The best ghost stories don’t have ghosts in them. At least you don’t see the ghost. Instead, you see only the result of his actions.'
Find out what different cultures believe about death and the afterlife.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
Can you correctly choose the last words of these famous people?
1. My work is done. Why not / wait / die? – G. Eastman, The founder of Kodac Company
2. Drink to me / us / liberty – P. Picasso
3. More life / light / literature – J. W. Goethe
4. Friends applaud; the comedy is playing / over / funny – L. V. Beethoven
5. The fog is thick / foggy / rising – E. Dickinson
6. I am about to make my last voyage; a great leap in the dark / river / air – T. Hobbes
7. I owe a cock to Asclepius; will you remember to pay the price / ferryman /debt? – Socrates
8. It is well. I die hard, but I am not afraid to die / go / fly – G. Washington
9. Go away…I’m dying / sleepy / alright – H. G. Wells
10. And now, I am dying beyond my means / days / country – O. Wilde
11. The rest is good / silence / unbalanced – Hamlet
1. Wait 2. me 3. light 4. over 5. rising 6. dark 7. debt 8. go 9. alright 10. means 11. silence
Close-up questions for discussion:
- What problems might there be about living forever?
- As the world’s population lives longer, what problems does this bring for societies?
- What do you believe about an afterlife?