In today’s diverse classrooms we need to be careful and cognizant of the fact that not everyone celebrates Halloween. I have taught at schools where we were not allowed to do any Halloween themed activities as well as some schools where we were allowed to as long as we toned it down and also celebrated holidays from other cultures. Read on to find out why I still include Halloween as a celebration in my classroom:
I have always seen this as a positive thing. Each year I invited parents from different backgrounds, to come in and visit our classroom and share something from their culture. One year I had a mom come in with traditional Jewish latkes and we played Spin the Dreidl. The kids had a blast and they got to learn more about their classmate and his family’s celebrations.
I try hard to be inclusive and to provide a well rounded experience in my classroom. Halloween is one of those celebrations that I like to include. It’s just so much fun to watch the kids as they come to school dressed as their favorite super hero, community helper, animal, or gruesome character. And while Halloween is founded in religion we don’t focus on that at all. In my classroom, it is just a day to have fun, dress up, be silly, and enjoy each other. Even at home with my own children we use that day as a means to get out into our community, to mingle with neighbors, meet new people, and eat a few handfuls of candy. It’s a bonding experience! And on top of that it promotes creativity and imagination. I have also found that in my diverse classrooms, all kids have dressed up for Halloween despite their religion or cultural background and we all celebrated together. It helped to build community. I know there are people out there who will disagree or be offended but I have honestly only had families who were excited to be included.
With the excitement of the day it can be hard to get students to focus on things that aren’t Halloween related so I always plan for some Halloween themed activities. At this time of year we are usually working on sequencing as a way to help improve our organization skills in writing. So I created this activity to help us:
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