Updated: Oct 25
Looking for captivating books and fun STEAM-based experiences to enjoy this Halloween? Look no further! We've handpicked a selection of spine-tingling reads and matched them with exciting hands-on STEAM educational experiences to engage young learners in a thrilling adventure. Explore the link below to find your perfect pair. Plus you are going to want to check out these amazing resources from Steve Spangler and the incredible team at Kesler Science.
Steve Spangler’s Halloween workshop and videos give you the fun themed STEAM activities your kids will love, while Dr. Diane provides multicultural picture book ideas you can use for Spooktacular connections across the curriculum.
Spooky Engineering and Design STEAM Challenges!
What better way to start your Halloween fun than with books that capture the fun of trying to design and build monster, ghost, or witch traps? While your students are designing, building, testing, and revising, you can also review the different steps of the engineering and design process. Check out the following books to set the stage for your own STEAM-based monster trap building fun:
How to Spook a Ghost by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo
Monster Trouble by Lane Fredrickson, illustrated by Michael Robertson
If Your Babysitter is a Bruja by Ana Siqueira, illustrated by Irena Freitas
If you want to connect the experience to an author study, introduce your students to author Sue Fliess via the Adventures in Learning podcast. Also, check out the book-related activities on Sue’s page.
Creating Haunting STEAM Connections!
Still looking for connections? Why not pair the Steve Spangler Energy stick with spooky stories about THE DARK? You can have the students use a wide range of materials (both conductors and insulators) to try to build the perfect Halloween circuit and light up the night for the ghost, ghoul, or little old lady who is NOT afraid of anything!
In the Dark by Kate Hoefler, illustrated by Corinna Luyken
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything Linda Williams, Megan Lloyd
The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Flash and Gleam: Light in Our World by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Khoa Le
If you want to connect the experience to an author/illustrator study, introduce your students to author Corinna Luyken via the Adventures in Learning podcast.
SPOOKtacular SOUND Stories!
Bring the sounds and experiences of these pages to life by having your students identify and recreate the spooky sounds of the season! It's always fun to pick a page, break down the illustrations, and decide what sounds are needed to recreate the image. Think of it as conducting your own orchestra of perfectly managed ghouls!
You can also connect these books with Steve’s Spooky Sounds, Screaming Balloon, and Screaming Cup videos. Use your five senses to unlock creative writing and storytelling as part of your Halloween experiences. For an engineering challenge, have students design and build their own buttons and decide what magical or creepy place lies behind the closed door.
Rumble and Roar: Sound Around the World by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Khoa Le
Don’t Push the Button: A Halloween Treat by Bill Cotter
Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat
CREEPY COLORIFIC FUN!
Both Halloween and Dia de los Muertos provide many opportunities for experimenting with interesting color combinations! You can connect these books to Steve’s Color Changing Liquids and Black Light Secret Message experiences. You might also provide opportunities for students to experiment in creating color combinations. Can they record the recipe they used for creating their favorite water color? All it takes are some color fizzy tablets, water, pipettes, and clear sorting trays or egg cartons.
Georgia’s Terrific, Colorific Experiment by Zoe Persico
Creepy Crayon by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown
Skeletown: Sí. ¡No! by Rhode Montijo
If you want to learn more about Dia de los Muertos, check out this conversation with Arte Libre executive director Abigail Gómez via the Adventures in Learning podcast.
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without some slimy fun, and Steve Spangler has plenty of incredible slime experiences to connect here. Check out Edible Slime and Smoking Bubbles. Students can also create and write down their own slime recipes (an opportunity for computational thinking AND language arts connections). You might also have students design, build, create, and write about the perfect Halloween sidekick.
Frankenslime by Joy Keller, illustrated by Ashley Belote
Witch & Wombat by Ashley Belote
If you want to connect the experience to an author study, introduce your students to author/illustrator Ashley Belote via the Adventures in Learning podcast. Check out the reader guides on Ashley’s page.
It’s pumpkin season! So many possibilities for graphing, measuring, and computational thinking. How many seeds are in a pumpkin? Do big pumpkins have more seeds than little pumpkins?
You could use Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! as an introduction to gardening and parts of a plant. It could launch discussions about what kinds of foods zombies and ghouls eat and what kinds of foods we eat. You could use it as a launch for graphing favorite fruits and vegetables or favorite Halloween candy (or, for the truly ambitions, graph and plan and later plant your own school vegetable garden).
Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino (illustrator)
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara, illus. by G. Brian Karas
Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! by Jorge Lacera and Megan Lacera
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