I love integrating units of work with seasonal activities. It keeps students engaged and allows for cross-subject discussions.
Halloween is a great example of this because, even though it's only just gaining popularity in Australia, it provides an opportunity to discuss other country's celebrations and ways that the change of seasons are marked.
When I was growing up there was a game called Nelson's Eye that was played at parties and this is especially fun at Halloween when everybody is in full spooky mood!
I've created a variation on the old Nelson's Eye game so that my students can explore their five senses. I call it What's in the bag!
Here is what you will need to set up the game in your classroom:
- a canvas or non-transparent bag
- plastic resealable bags
- senses flash cards (you can grab these for free at my store, just follow the link below)
- various objects that are soft, squishy, noisy, hard, soft etc.. to place inside the plastic bags. Some examples I've used before are:
- hard boiled eggs, mashed or whole (like an eye!)
- boiled spaghetti (veins!) or hard uncooked (children will think these are sticks)
- grapes (more eyes that go pop!)
- wool (monster hair)
- ice mashed or hard
- mud (guts)
- dried apricots (tiny brains!)
How to play:
- Place 1 item, secretly in the bag. Don't let the children see what it is. Leave it in the plastic resealable bag otherwise you'll have a huge mess on your hands (or if you're game you can use a fresh canvas bag each time and just wash them after use).
- Pick one student to come to the front and place their hand in the bag. Discuss with the student which senses they are using by sticking the flash cards to your whiteboard.
- Asked the student to describe what they are feeling before guessing. This is a great opportunity to get students to discuss vocabulary for materials (soft, hard, long, short, round, square, squishy!)
- For the Halloween spin you could say "is it a witches eye?" and the children will all say "ugh yuck!"- but they are engaged!
- After a while let the student guess what the item is and show them by pulling it out of the bag.
- Repeat again and again until all students have had a turn.
- Reflect or brainstorm all the vocabulary you've used to describe the items inside the bag by writing them down on the whiteboard as you go along.
- Review the senses they used - could they see it? hear it? smell it?
If you'd like to grab a copy of these five senses flash cards just click the image below.
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