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  • Writer's pictureSaresha Zentner

A SPOOKY Halloween Activity even Big Kids Love!

I can't wait to tell you about my FAVORITE writing activity of the year! It is so fun and spooky – they love it. I have students from last year come back to read the final products. Needless to say, it’s a hit!

The best part is . . . you can easily implement it in your classroom too!

The writing activity is based off the book, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. I am able to check it out from my school library each year for kiddos to look at. (You can also order it here from Amazon.)

Basically, this book has a super interesting story and some eerie pictures that students end up creating stories for. The pictures are strange, but not scary or inappropriate for students.

First, I read the book aloud to students. I have a PowerPoint presentation that has the pictures so students can all view them easily. As we go through, students rate each picture based on how interesting they find it. (Basically if they can come up with a story based on that picture.)

Students then narrow it down to one picture and start to plan out their mystery. They use the Mystery Planning Page to write down their observations from the picture and to plan out their story.

Lastly, students write their story. These come out so great! I have them type their stories too and display them in the hallway with the picture.

On Halloween, we turn off the lights, get some flashlights out, and read our stories campfire style to the rest of the class.

Click here for the link to the PowerPoint presentation, Rating Page, Mystery Planning Page, Lesson Directions, and Applicable Standards.

**More Harris Burdick Activities** • Check out -Students can submit their stories on this website for a contest. -Students can also read other stories that have been submitted. (I only show them this option after they have written their own.) • Find the book, The Chronicles of Harris Burdick. This book contains stories for each of the pictures that were written by famous children’s authors. (Again, I would wait until students have written their own.) You can find the book here from Amazon.

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