My Long Overdue After Action Report on Teaching Halloween in 2014

I know, I know… Halloween is so last month, but I was far too busy trying out some truly great Halloween teaching materials to write about them. And I just couldn’t wait until next year to mention my two top favorites. I’ll probably write about the runners up next September but for now…Videos Galore

The good people at Super Simple Learning really outdid themselves this year with new music videos to accompany their Halloween album. Throughout September and October they uploaded a new video to their epic YouTube channel every week – each one more impressive than the last. They’re beautifully animated and display a gift for drawing the eye of just about any child (and even teachers in their mid-thirties). So beloved were their latest work that I was  continually inundated with pleas to show a particular favorite again and again.

The trouble is that they’ve raised the bar so high that I now have impossibly high expectation for this coming Christmas.

The Coolest of the Cool in Halloween Songs

e9537-424381_282201598517709_989987321_nTo date I haven’t made very big use of the holiday themes from Genki English, but this year I was determined would be different. So out from the teacher’s toolbox came the song Happy Halloween, which has since gone on to become one of my students’ favoritest (to use a Junie B-ism) Richard Graham songs, joining the lofty ranks of such classics as I am a Robot and The Genki Disco Warm Up.It teaches the very useful sentence pattern, “Look, there’s a vampire!” along with some other basic Halloweeny words like witch, ghost, and mummy. But the real classroom magic came from the super catchy chorus and the surprise… (sorry, no spoilers here)… which had the kids in absolute stitches and caused them to sing the song incessantly in the class, at home, and everywhere in between.

스크린샷 2014-11-15 오후 7.39.12This theme also comes with the usual array of Genki goodies like student cards, board games, imagination worksheets, and dominoes (but alas, only if you’re a member). There’s an online story book you can check out here that can also be made into a hard copy for the offline classroom. To top it off we also played the Harry Potter game, a very apt activity for the time of year, even if the little ones didn’t really know who the great teen wizard was.

On an entirely different note, I’ve recently got to thinking that an Epic Rap Battle of TEFL between Richard Graham of Genki English and the good people at Super Simple Learning is long overdue; something like the Ghostbusters/MythBusters battle that came out last week, perhaps.

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