A Ghost Story by Mark Twain - Halloween Activity

Grade Levels
7th - 10th
Formats Included
  • PDF
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  1. Engage your middle school Language Arts classes with these spooky short stories! Students will learn about suspense, foreshadowing, characterization, satire and more with these fun Halloween lessons! Short stories include "A Ghost Story" by Mark Twain, "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, and "
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What Middle School student doesn't love a fun and scary Halloween story? Mark Twain's "A Ghost Story" is the perfect short story to engage your class along with these No-Prep activities and resources! Through Twain's masterful use of suspense and satire, students will feel frightened and will laugh during this lesson!

I love activities that capitalize on the holiday season and put students' excess energy to good use while still teaching them important ELA content! Begin this lesson with an Instructional Slides presentation that will teach students all about satire! The Slides will also review with students suspense and discuss two ways that authors create suspense in their writing: foreshadowing and sensory details. Tone and mood are also briefly reviewed!

An informational article is included to help build students' background knowledge regarding the famous Cardiff Giant which will help them comprehend the story. I love using this as an opportunity to review informational text features with students!

Students will then read the short story and complete an assignment helping them identify and analyze the elements reviewed in the Slides Presentation. Following the story, challenge students to write their own creepy story with an ironic ending! It's a fun and easy way to incorporate creative writing! Answer Keys and Grading Rubrics are Included!

What's Included in A Ghost Story Lesson?

  • Teacher Guidelines and Instructions
  • Basic Lesson Outline
  • Instructional Slides Presentation (25+ Slides)
  • "The Cardiff Giant" Informational Article (2 pages)
  • "A Ghost Story" Printable Short Story
  • "A Ghost Story: Satire & Suspense" Student Assignment
  • "Ironic Incidents: Spooky Narratives" Creative Writing Assignment
  • Additional Teacher Talking Points sheet
  • Grading Rubric
  • Answer Keys
  • Instructions for Accessing Slides Presentation

ELA Topics Taught & Reviewed:

More Spooky & Suspenseful Short Stories:

"The Tell-Tale Heart" - Edgar Allan Poe: Symbolism and Annotation Practice

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving: Worksheets & Activities

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Scary Short Story Bundle!

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Total Pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
3 hours
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.


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