There’s no denying it, Halloween has a special atmosphere, whether or not it is part of your cultural heritage. What’s more it has its place in the English class and our students love the idea of Halloween parties and scary stories.
Use this opportunity to have some fun writing lessons built around spooky readers. We have two different activities you can start with. The activities are aimed at B1 level students, adjust according to the language level and interests of your students.
1 Solve the story puzzle
We have mixed passages from three different stories. Ask your students to identify the different paragraphs and find logical connections between some of them. They can look for semantic, syntactic and stylistic clues, or simply study the characters and the setting described in the passages.
Download the activity sheet: Halloween Story Puzzle
Download the solutions: Halloween Story Puzzle Answers
2 First liners
First lines should be easy and intriguing at the same time so that they make us want to read more. Use our collection of dark and scary opening lines from classic novels to learn about the mechanism and importance of great opening sentences.
- Download the workshop and read the lines in pairs.
- Discuss in pairs or groups of three which one interests you the most.
- Give reasons for choosing your lines.
- Guess which novel they come from. Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of possible novels.
- Now write a paragraph to continue the story. What happens next?
- Read the original story and compare the first paragraph with your version.
Download the first lines here: Halloween First Liners. These lines come from the Helbling Reader adaptations of the novels.
Download the solutions here: Halloween First Liners Answers
Download the first pages of each Helbling Reader adaptation to see how the stories continue.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, first page
- Turn of the Screw by Henry James, first page
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, first page
- The Masque of the Red Death by E. A. Poe, first page, The Masque of the Red Death by E. A. Poe, second page
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, first page
- The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde, first page
- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, first page
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, first page
- Dracula by Bram Stoker, first page
Would you like more Halloween-inspired lessons? Check out the following resources on our Blog: