As Halloween is coming, I thought I’d share a few ways to use technology to teach about the festival. In Ireland, Halloween is one of the most popular festivals in the year and houses are often decorated almost as much as at Christmas time.
1. Video Conference with a school
Once a school has a reasonable broadband connection, video conferencing is a simple and great way to connect two schools together. This year, my school, (an urban school with about 100 children), connected with a rural school in Co. Mayo. We showed the 9 pupils in the school our Halloween outfits and they showed us how to play a Halloween game.
2. Spooky Podcast
Why not get your kids to record a spooky story for Halloween and upload it as a podcast? Audacity is free software to record audio and has lots of effects to make voices sound even scarier! A great example is from a school in Sligo where they recorded a play “Witch Griselda Rides Again”
3. Virtual Pumpkin Carving
There are certain things that probably aren’t safe to do in primary schools. Letting children loose with a sharp knife to carve pumpkins is one of those things. Isn’t it great that someone thought to make a virtual pumpkin carving app? It’s a very simple Flash file that allows the user to “cut out” holes in a pumpkin to create their own “Jack-O-Lantern”. Using the PrtSc key in your keyboard and pasting the image into Paint, you can save children’s creations. This can work very nicely on a projected screen too.
4. Write a Story Online
Storybird.com is a brilliant site for writing stories in general. Because it has lots of professional quality clipart (and it’s free too), it can make a shared writing exercise highly motivating. Children can create their own Storybird stories too if they have access to a computer.
5. A Halloween Blog
Blogs don’t have to last forever. They can be quite specific. How about setting up a free blog on a service like Edublogs or WordPress and get children to blog about Halloween? Ideas might be a short story, a poem or even a description of Halloween in their house.
6. Use the web to learn about other festivals around Halloween
Get on to the Internet and learn about other festivals around this time of the year. Divide your class into groups and get them to research other festivals that tend to crop up around this time of year: Samhain, Divali, Allantide, Reformation Day, All Saints Day, Dasara, etc. Find out if any of them share any rituals.
Last Update: August 9, 2017