Halloween is just around the corner…why not use it as an excuse for an extra fun day (or week) in your science classroom?! Making use of the Halloween season is a fun way to get those young scientists in your classroom engaged in science class. So, if you’re looking for some lesson ideas with a Halloween twist, here are a few of my favorite Halloween activities for science class.
HAND’S-ON HALLOWEEN SCIENCE ACTIVITIES
This is the perfect time of year to break out the ooey-gooey science lessons. When you have a room full of little scientists or you teach older students, everyone enjoys a little bit of Halloween fun. So, put on your “mad scientist” hat an give this list of Halloween science experiments a try!
For this fun activity, students will work in groups to construct catapults or trebuchets that will be used to launch candy pumpkins, marshmallows, or whatever tasty treat you’d prefer to use. Students will construct their catapults using popsicle sticks (large and small.)
BONUS IDEA: To add a little competitive fun to this Halloween activity, here are a few ideas to enhance this activity:
- SHOOT AND SCORE: and have students attempt to shoot their candy pumpkins into the bucket. The team with the most “scores” in 30 seconds wins.
- DISTANCE COMPETION: The team whose catapult launches their candy the furthest distance is victorious!
- MALLOW MOUTH: Have students take turns launching marshmallows from their catapults while another student tries to catch the mallows in their mouth.
This is one of my favorite Halloween activities for science class. Have students put on their investigative hats and pretend that they’ve never before seen the inside of a pumpkin. Instruct your middle schoolers to begin dissecting their pumpkin, taking time to record their findings as they go. This is a cool way for them to practice paying attention to details and recording information using student recording sheets. You can find step by step directions for this very easy activity here.
GLOW IN THE DARK GOO
This Halloween-themed science experiment is sure to be a great time for both you and your students (as long as you don’t mind getting a little messy.)
Here’s what you’ll need to make one batch of goo:
- 4 tbsp of glow in the dark paint
- 8 oz of white Elmer’s glue
- 1/2 tsp borax
- 1/2 cup of warm water
For a full set of instruction, click here.
This is a STEM activity your students are sure to remember! To make tea bag ghosts empty tea bags and cut them in half. Each student should get their own “ghost” (aka half a tea bag.) I encourage my students to draw faces on their little ghosts. Next, students will light the top of their tea bags on fire. As they burn, their ghost will begin to fly.
Discuss the science: This easy science activity is a great way to introduce (or reinforce) the concept of convection currents and what happens to air molecules when heated.
WITCHES POTION DEMONSTRATION
For this fun activity, you can use your “magic” to make witch’s brews. Amaze your students with your color changing substances. (This demonstration essentially shows that phenolphthalein is a chemical that displays different colors depending on the acidity or basicity of the environment.)
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2-500 mL beaker (or 2 large, clear containers)
- 4-250 mL beakers (or 4 tall glasses)
- phenolphthalein (or Exlax or Alophen pill)
- ammonia clear (or household ammonia)
- acetic acid (or vinegar)
You can see a full set of instructions, plus of fun interactive script here!
NO MESS ACTIVITIES
Alright let’s be honest, we don’t always have the time (or the desire) to deal with messy Halloween activities for science class. Don’t worry! There is still so much fun to be had, even if you prefer a “mess-free” activity. Here are a few of my favorites:
HALLOWEEN THEMED SCIENTIFIC METHOD SCAVENGER HUNT
Get your students up out of their seats this year with this easy to prepare activity that will be sure to have them chatting about science!
Here’s how it works:
To prepare this activity, print the questions and hide them around the room, gym, or anywhere you can take your students and let them wander. Then, give each student (or team of students) a copy of the answer sheet. Set a timer, and then give the students the chance to look for the questions. To up the ante, give a prize to the students who complete the activity first with the most right answers.
Middle School Halloween Scavenger Hunt Scientific InvestigationsFrom: $25.00 / month
CANDY DICHOTOMOUS KEY
Looking to strengthen your students’ observation and classification skills? This activity is the perfect way to work on those skills while having fun celebrating Halloween! All you need are a class set of printed student worksheets and lots of candy (some of classifying and some for eating of course!) Check it out!
GOOGLE EARTH SCAVENGER HUNT
Using Google Earth, have students use lines of latitude and longitude to find the location of scary places. Locations might include:
- Human Lips in Sudan (12°22’13.32″N, 23°19’20.18″E)
- Shipwreck in India (19° 38′ 46.00″ N, 37° 17′ 42.00″ E)
- Alien Triangle (30°30’38.44″S115°22’56.03″E)
- Huge Bunny (44.244167, 7.769444)
As Halloween approaches, I hope you’ll take the time to add a little holiday fun to your lesson plans! Which of these Halloween activities for science class will YOU be using?
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