[Free October Resources] Celebrate Halloween with Edmentum
It’s the spookiest time of year! Check out a few of our favorite free resources that are perfect for your class as you learn about and explore the October holidays. Whether you’re learning in person, virtually, or doing something in between, it’s easy to share these fun downloadable resources with your students and put everyone into the October spirit!
Fun Classroom Resources for Major October Holidays
Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)
Every year from September 15 to October 15, the United States observes National Hispanic Heritage Month, a national celebration of the cultures, traditions, accomplishments, and contributions of Hispanic Americans.
Kick off the celebration in your classroom during Hispanic Heritage Month with a free topical resource packet from Edmentum. In this packet, you’ll find fact sheets, critical thinking questions, and activities to help your class explore the significance of Hispanic Heritage Month, discuss different cultural traditions, and learn more about Spanish-speaking countries.
Check out this list of useful links that your class can use to learn more about the people, history, and heritage of Hispanic Americans.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 9)
Indigenous Peoples' Day, celebrated on the second Monday of October, is a day dedicated to honoring and celebrating the rich cultural heritage, history, and contributions of Indigenous peoples in America. It's a day to learn, reflect, and show respect for the diverse Indigenous cultures that have helped shape our world and continue to play a vital role in our global community.
Check out this FREE downloadable Indigenous Peoples Word Search PDF for a fun activity to introduce students to important terms within Indigenous culture.
You can also find some more free printables here to keep the fun going and engage your students in meaningful discussions and activities centered around Indigenous Peoples' Day.
National Bullying Prevention Month
Bullying comes in many different forms, including physical bullying, verbal bullying, and the increasingly common cyberbullying. But no matter what form it takes, bullying is never cool. That’s why National Bullying Prevention Month is such an important October holiday.
The FREE National Bullying Prevention Month Toolkit from Edmentum includes an age-appropriate poster, Fact Sheets, and critical thinking questions specifically created to educate your pre-K through 6th-grade students. Help stop the cycle of bullying for the next generation by using these resources to begin a dialogue with your youngest learners about what bullying is, how to prevent it, and how to respond if it does happen.
National Fire Prevention Week (October 8-14)
For young and old alike, Fire Prevention Week is a great reminder of the importance of fire safety! Best practices should be taught early and often to ensure young children are avoiding potentially hazardous situations and prepared to react in case of emergency—both at school and at home.
During the designated week of October each year, we encourage you to dedicate some time to brushing up on safety practices with your students as part of the official Fire Prevention Week. Learn why we observe this week each year and how you can help educate students on fire safety by downloading our free Fire Prevention Week Toolkit from Edmentum.
Resources for the October holidays include Fact Sheets, Activities, and critical thinking questions to help review fire safety with your students. In addition, as you plan an upcoming lesson, don’t forget to highlight these five best practices for avoiding and responding to a fire:
1. Routinely test smoke alarms
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has officially sponsored Fire Prevention Week since its inception in 1922, and each year selects an annual theme. This year, NFPA continues its three-year effort to educate the public on essential smoke alarm safety. As part of these best practices, it’s important to remember that smoke alarms should be checked regularly, and batteries changed once a month. Every 10 years, your smoke alarms should also be replaced. Share this friendly “Don’t wait—check the date!” infographic from NFPA with your students for quick tips on replacing a smoke alarm.
2. Develop and practice fire evacuation plans
While fire drills sometimes feel like yet another disruption in your day, they are a necessary routine to prepare young children for fire emergencies. In anticipation of upcoming fire drills at your school, ensure you and your students have rehearsed lining up and exiting quickly. For older learners, this may feel like old hat, but in a new classroom, the exit strategy may be different and it’s important they are current on the procedure.
3. Create emergency communication plans
In addition to knowing where students should go in case of fire, being able to communicate who is safe and who still needs help is just as important. We suggest using a simple “student whereabouts” board to get an at-a-glance view of who’s in your room that day as well as posting an evacuation class list that you can grab and take with you to easily check that all your students are accounted for once outside. Enforce the importance of using these systems to seek permission before exiting the classroom.
Don’t forget to connect all fire safety education back to home! Encourage your learners to think about the best exit strategy when they are at home and what they should do if smoke or a fire is present. Encourage students to share what they’ve learned with parents and siblings, discuss the plans they developed, and practice fire safety regularly.
4. Focus on prevention
This particular tip has applications that spread far and wide—both at home and while at school. Focus on prevention by helping students identify hazardous situations that they should avoid or seek an adults help with. This includes staying away from a hot stove, not using an oven or microwave without adult supervision, and identifying flammable objects that should stay away from heat sources. Additional tips and lessons can be found at NFPA’s Sparky School House site.
5. Report a fire immediately
While we certainly hope that an emergency doesn’t happen, it’s important to know what to do in case one does! Your students should know how to use a phone to immediately call authorities. 9-1-1 is probably the first number any child learns, but practicing recalling this number certainly won’t hurt. Remind students that firefighters have special training, protection, and equipment that allow them to safely handle a fire. Check out these great classroom reads for more information firefighters and how they protect our communities.
Red Ribbon Week (October 23 - 31)
From October 23 to 31, schools around the nation will observe Red Ribbon Week®, the largest and longest-running annual campaign dedicated to drug prevention. Beyond spreading awareness of the dangers of drug and alcohol use, Red Ribbon Week also presents an excellent opportunity to teach students about the benefits of building lifelong healthy habits, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
To help you recognize this important campaign in the classroom, Edmentum is offering a Free Red Ribbon Week Topical Resource Packet stuffed with activities, critical thinking questions, posters, and fact sheets designed to engage your students in constructive conversations on developing positive habits. Not sure where to kick off the conversation? Here are our Red Ribbon Week ideas and activities to help discuss healthy habits with elementary students.
Halloween Classroom Resources
Celebrate Halloween in your classroom with a free topical resource packet from Edmentum. In this packet, you’ll find spooktacular critical thinking questions, fact sheets, activities, and a fun poster to help your class explore the traditions of Halloween, learn about the lifecycle of pumpkins, and even take part in a slimy experiment.
The Edmentum Brain Game – Halloween Edition
The Edmentum Brain Game is a fun, descriptive game that puts an interactive twist on flashcard review by challenging players to describe terms with a partner or group. There are multiple ways to play the game, so put your own spin on the rules to fit the needs of your students. Keep an eye out during the rest of the school year for more fun-themed packs to add to your collection. For the full list of card packs and rules for the game, check out our website.
Edmentum Bingo! - Halloween Edition
Who doesn't love a nice game of Bingo? Our free downloadable Bingo cards are perfect for printing or downloading to play with your students or posting on your social media story to play with friends. And don't forget to check out our other Bingo cards, too!
Fun Halloween Lesson Ideas
Looking for fun ways to incorporate a fancy dress day into a lesson? Your classroom may not be the place for witches or ghosts this year, but there are creative ways you can incorporate a fun, educational Halloween day into your lesson plan on October 31. Take a look at these three education-appropriate ideas to help celebrate Halloween at school.
- Book Character Day: Help your students select a book from your school or classroom library. Have your students read the book at home and then, on a designated day, come to in-person or virtual class dressed as the main character from that book. For students with stronger literacy skills, you can ask students to present a short book report to the class where they describe their character.
- History Report: Another great way to tie an educational theme into a fun Halloween celebration is to have your students dress up as a historical figure or a person living during a different time in history. To make things simple, type up a list of historical figures featured in the curriculum you’ll cover throughout the year and have students choose one from the list. Or, draw students' names randomly from a hat to ensure that you don’t end up with duplicates. Tie in a writing lesson by having your students research the person or time period they have chosen and write a brief biography about the figure or describe what a day in the life might look like for someone in their assigned time period. On dress-up day, students can present their costumes and biographies to the class and share them with their classmates.
- What I Want to Be: Imagining future careers is a fun way for your students to learn about different jobs and share their aspirations with their teachers and classmates. Before Halloween, have your students write a brief report where they describe a career that interests them and why, as well as what a day in the life might look like for someone with that career. On Halloween, have your students bring a prop item or dress up as they would for their future job or as a well-known person in the industry they have chosen. You can have students present to the class about what they want to be, or you can have them gather into groups and discuss how their different careers might work together in a community.
Celebrate October Holidays With Edmentum
No matter what your classroom looks like this year, the October holidays always bring plenty of ways to get into the autumn spirit! Share how you celebrate success in your classroom this year with us on social media by tagging @edmentum! And be sure to browse Edmentum’s Free Resources page for fun, interactive toolkits, downloadables and more.