Introducing Halloween to ELLs

Halloween is just around the corner! Introducing this holiday to newcomers and English Language Learners (ELLs) can be a challenge. Whether it’s participating for the first time with their children, or celebrating the holiday with adults, ELLs can improve their literacy skills and learn about this unique holiday at the same time. Here we share some ideas for activities and resources to help you introduce Halloween.

  • Teach some vocabulary. Create Halloween vocabulary cards with themed words like pumpkin, ghost, vampire, etc. You can also include pictures on your cards.
  • Talk about the history of Halloween and how it is celebrated in Canada today.
  • Watch videos about Halloween such as the one below. Talk about what they saw in the video.

  • Read the October edition of The Westcoast Reader, review the Halloween articles below, and complete the quizzes and/or the exercises:
  • Play Halloween-themed games: charades, bingo or word searches are just some fun games for adult learners.
  • Practice some spooky creative writing. After learners have some Halloween vocabulary words, ask them to write a scary (or funny!) story using some of the words. Or have your learners write a movie review about a scary movie they have seen.
  • Plan some Halloween speaking activities. Have your students complete the sentence, “On Halloween, I’m going to see …” They can use some of their vocabulary terms for this activity. The first person completes the sentence with a word such as “a pumpkin”. The next person repeats what the first person said, but adds their own term to the list. Each person repeats all the previous words in order. When someone makes a mistake, they are out. The game continues until only one person is left as the winner! This activity could use a theme, such as costumes. Just be sure to have covered the themed vocabulary words in advance.

There are lots of fun ways to learn about Halloween. Check out the resources below for more information and ideas.


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