Are you looking for ways to incorporate Halloween into your science curriculum? Recognizing holidays in your science curriculum will not only engage your students but will allow them to learn more about different cultures.
Things to Consider Before Including Halloween in Your Science Classroom
One way to include the holidays into your science curriculum is to tie it into the current topic you are studying. This will ensure that you are not wasting precious curriculum time. So look at your curriculum map and see if you can take a hands-on activity a little spooky or include a tie-in to Halloween.
Another consideration is classroom management. Before the activity, remind students of your classroom rules and procedures to keep it a pleasant experience.
Integrating Halloween into your Chemical and Physical Changes Unit
Halloween always falls during my chemical and physical changes unit. Teaching physical and chemical changes leads to many demonstrations and hands-on activities. Using this to my advantage, it has been easy to turn some of the physical and chemical changes activities that I have used into a spooky Halloween version.
Physical and Chemical Changes Halloween Experiments
Using the CER strategy, teach these chemical and physical changes experiments in three easy steps:
- Before the activity, review the signs of a chemical change. Knowing the four signs of a chemical change will help them later decide if the change in matter they observe is chemical or physical. Review this part of the activity as a whole class to model what the students will be doing in other parts of the activity.
2. One of my favorite demonstrations to use during Halloween that can emphasize chemical and physical changes while having a spin on Halloween is “Elephant’s Toothpaste.” Using the CER strategy, students will claim whether the reaction is a chemical or physical change.
3. Students can complete two other Halloween-inspired activities on their own or in small groups. Two of my favorites are:
- Pumpkin candies in water
- Activating a glow stick
These two activities can easily be integrated into a Halloween science theme.
Students will place the candy pumpkins in water and observe. Students should notice that the pumpkins will begin to dissolve in the water. Using their knowledge of chemical changes, students should note that none of the requirements are filled and that this change is physical.
When students activate the glow stick, a color change will happen. This color change is different from the one observed in the candy experiment. This is a chemical change due to the chemicals combining to create a color change.
Free Halloween science worksheets!
I used these activities in science stations on Halloween while being OBSERVED! Of course, students were excited, but they were also on task and engaged.
Scroll down to try this free Halloween experiment in your classroom.
Looking for Halloween activities you can feel good about using your instructional minutes for? Check out these other free ideas for your upper elementary students and let us do the planning for you!
- Ghostly STEM Fun! // Tried & True Teaching Tools
- Halloween Activities for Any Content Area // The Owl Teacher
- 3 Easy to Implement Halloween Writing Activities for Upper Elementary // Think Grow Giggle
- Speak, Listen, Draw Halloween Communication Activity // Feel-Good Teaching