Education Technology

Top 3 Halloween-Themed Classroom Activities

Posted 10/22/2021 by Mark Watson

Teachers are always keeping an eye out for stimulating activities that can get students more involved in their lessons. With Halloween just around the corner, these crowd-pleasing activities offer great opportunities to turn class time into good, ghoulish fun — while still delivering instructional, standards-aligned content that’s relevant to your lesson plans.

Get the top three classroom activities to get your students invested in learning (and amped up for Halloween).

1. The dead are walking and the infection is spreading
Teachers and students can agree science and math are a lot more engaging when it’s all about the zombie apocalypse — and this popular activity is a sure bet to be a class favorite. With just a little planning, teachers can even take the ideas provided in this activity and expand on them across multiple lessons if they want. It’s a fun way to create a continuous learning experience for students.

Armed with their graphing calculators, students will observe how humans are turning into mindless, walking corpses while studying the spread of the zombie virus. They’ll make real-world connections by understanding how infections can spread through populations and ways society can suffer the effects of new and emerging viruses like we’ve witnessed with COVID-19.

See humans turn to zombies on your graphing calculator.
See humans turn to zombies on your graphing calculator.

This activity also explores a little about physiology and the human brain, and how epidemiologists integrate science and math to curb the spread of diseases and flatten the curve. Students can explore topics like:

  • Interpreting and graphing data, making predictions and more
  • Understanding the function of various parts of the human brain
  • Investigating and discussing factors dealing with immunity and vaccines

Examine the four parts of the brain impacted by the zombie virus.
Examine the four parts of the brain impacted by the zombie virus.

If you want to keep the zombie fun going for a full week of Halloween-themed lessons, download the sequel activity (available for TI-Nspire™ CX technology). Students will dive deeper into science concepts by exploring chemistry and life sciences principles and observing processes, such as titration, all while designing experiments, predicting outcomes and testing hypotheses.

Download all the files you need in an instant. Run this way.

2. Will creepy, crawly maggots lead you to the answer?
A body of a male victim has been discovered in an open field just outside the city limits — but who is it? Students must take on the role of a forensic anthropologist to identify the victim from a list of missing persons. Read the reports, examine the crime scene, analyze what evidence you can find and make sense of all the clues.

This activity is particularly engaging for students (and an ideal lesson to explore leading up to Halloween weekend) because it teaches about the main five stages of decomposition, as well as the effects temperature, humidity and other factors can have on the decomposition process. Using their graphing calculators, students can even manipulate these factors to observe the effects and view collected data in various graphs.

Analyze a decomposing body using TI-Nspire™ CX technology.
Analyze a decomposing body using TI-Nspire™ CX technology.

Of course, there’s an uglier and more horrific side to solving this case: The disgusting maggots and blowflies that can infest a decomposing body. By understanding the lifecycle of insects, starting from the egg to the larval, pupa and adult phases, students can determine what decomposition stage the body is in for additional clues as to who the victim may be.

It’s an activity that’s both interesting and gruesome — and sure to be a big hit in the classroom. Take the case.

3. Uncover the truth about the haunting of Dead Man’s Curve
The ghostly legend of Biker Bob was born the fateful night when he crossed the centerline at Dead Man’s Curve and skidded into the great beyond. Now a popular TV show claims it has proof the tall tales are true. It’s up to your students to find out the truth.

Taking on the role of an inquisitive photojournalist, students must analyze pictures and ask pointed questions regarding the interactions of light and matter and how they apply to ghosts.

Investigate ghostly sightings using TI-Nspire™ CX technology.
Investigate ghostly sightings using TI-Nspire™ CX technology.

Designed to complement middle grades physical science and high school physics classes, students will explore topics like:

  • The electromagnetic spectrum, visible light, ultra violet and infrared
  • Wavelength and frequency
  • Radio waves, gamma rays and RFID technology
  • Speed of light
  • And more

It’s time to find out if there’s a ghost of a chance Biker Bob is haunting the highway. Grab your gear.

If you’re looking for more activities beyond what’s dead, gross and creepy, Texas Instruments offers a huge collection of free STEM lessons and activities for middle grades and high school. For now, take these three activities and dig deep into what’s weird and foul to engage your students in the classroom this Halloween. Boo to you!

About the author: Mark Watson is the Senior Copywriter for Texas Instruments with years of experience in the areas of education technology and teacher and student software. A proud graduate from Texas Tech University, he has a passion for helping educators discover ways to enrich the classroom learning experience and support student success.