Halloween Activities - Middle School ELA - A Ghost Story by Mark Twain

Mrs Nelson Teaches
Grade Levels
6th - 9th
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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FUN Poetry Bundle

Greek Mythology Unit

The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Complete Novel Unit

Informational Text Feature Unit

Freak the Mighty Novel Unit

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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).
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.
Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.


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