It’s the run up to Halloween and one way to have fun, get your learners orientated towards the theme and get some reading practice in is to do some Digital Play activities with a scare factor. Here is a selection of 10 Halloween lead in activities to try out with your learners. All the links lead to lesson plans posted previously on Digital Play.
This atmospheric and written text heavy thriller is great reading practice for a mature higher level language learner. You arrive at a strange house with a mysterious doctor who introduces himself as James Thaxton Smith, an assistant to your uncle who is the doctor at this psychiatric hospital. He sees you to the guest room where you are to stay but time passes and you soon get bored waiting. Explore the house and discover dark secrets and strange goings on. Can you solve the mystery before it’s too late?
Can you help a young girl travel through the woods before it gets too dark? A walk through the trees, a chance encounter with a strange creature and an opportunity to practice the third conditional or maybe set up a writing activity using the game events to scaffold the storytelling. Ideal for an upper intermediate class but has also worked successfully with a strong intermediate group. I like this game as it is simple, easy to play and the story book feel to it adds a different dimension to the game – as you flip through the pages you can ask learners about the language or predict the story.
This game is not as gory and bloody as it gets by a long stretch but it is just about as far as we go here at Digital Play. The story is of a zombie pirate who is trying to solve the mystery of how he ended up being a zombie and how he can get back to being a pirate. Nice thing about this game is that there is lots of in-game text that builds the characters and moves the plot/ game forward. Use the walkthrough for extra gaming support and additional reading practice.
You can find ten different online games here to practice clothes, colours, parts of the body and lots more language. All these games were chosen to tie in with the Halloween theme of trick or treat and dressing up in costumes. Great for younger learners and activities include writing descriptions, telling a partner about a halloween picture and relay dictations. If you have a printer you can even get your learners to print off some of their creations to decorate the classroom.
This hand drawn online choose your own adventure game has 8 different endings depending on what actions you decide to take in the game. Getting learners to discover these different endings encourages them to engage on a deeper level with the text and storylines to such a degree that they really get into the different plot twists and the decisions they need to take in order to reach they ending they want. Maybe your learners will be inspired enough to draw and write their own similar stories.
Sometimes an internet connection or connectivity is a problem while a class full of students on multiple computers are all trying to access the same game. For this reason we’ve included this game which you can download and save on a computer. An added bonus is that you can save your progress and return to the same computer at a later date. This means this visually attractive and engaging game can be played over a few classes. Using a walkthrough can be a help but be warned there are incidences of cartoon blood and gore i this so use appropriately.
This online game of pelmanism is great for drilling beginner levels on halloween vocabulary. It’s also great for introducing your learners to and drilling on a few ordinal numbers. Play this game in a connected classroom as a warmer for a bit of halloween fun. Vocabulary includes spider (as pictured on the left), green eye(ball), blue eye(ball), green worm, spider’s web/ cobweb, skull/ skeleton and (scary) ghost.
8 I Remain
As is often the case, there is a zombie outbreak and you have managed to survive and find yourself inside an abandoned house with the undead horde pressing in from all sides. Can you read the story and figure out how to reenact it in the game? This online game can be played while reading a story which is a great way to get your upper-intermediate learners reading. Playing the game becomes a comprehension check to the story.
This is a speaking activity where your class is either in teams or just one big chaotic crowd. Learners look at the two pictures and have to describe to you the teacher what they are and where they are. You may find that pre-teaching some of the vocabulary may make for a better activity but that’s up to you. I find it’s surprising how much learners learn in a game just from dealing with new language as it comes up. If you do want to pre-teach then play the game or or take a look at the picture on the left here – you can spot the vocabulary for yourself.
Finally here is a selection of ten different halloween themed games covering a range of ages, language levels and scare factors. Some of the activities can be used in a connected classroom with a single computer and others can be used with learners on multiple computers in either the classroom or a computer room.