This is a fun writing unit to help channel all of the hyper, excited energy your students will have the couple weeks before Halloween. The unit has two modules: The Spooky Summary Book Report and The Creative Writing Spooky Story. Over a decade, I taught both of these units the two weeks before Halloween, the last two weeks of October. They both can be extended to two weeks each, starting with the first week of October for the summary book report, and then up to three weeks for the story. It really depends on how much time you have in your schedule. Both worked for me. I’ve written the unit to be two-week modules, and feel free to stretch to what fits your schedule.
In the book summary, you will teach the basics of a summary essay. It will be a basic three paragraph essay with an introduction of a summary, the main points to summarize in a book, and the conclusion of the essay. It uses sentence frames to help build structure to help your struggling students, and has different levels in the framing to differentiate with your Gifted and Talented students. The grading unit and book report graphic organizer are at the end of the unit.
The Creative Writing Spooky Story module is my most popular story unit I’ve taught during my years of teaching. I’d have students come back and mention it was their favorite years after they’d done the project. It will channel all that natural creative energy at Halloween into the craft of writing. It will be magical when you see your class reading spooky stories all day on Halloween, turning a normally lost academic day into a celebration of writing and creativity.
The prewriting can be taught with regular webbing and chart techniques or using the graphic organizers included. The grading rubric is included at the end of the unit. I have taught students that have difficulty writing, English Language learners, ADHD, ADD, Autistic, and Gifted and Talented students all with this unit. All have had great strives in their writing using the sentence frames, differentiated and workshop structure, and open-ended assignments.
I am truly proud to share this unit with you after teaching it for almost 15 years. It is my pride and joy that I developed specializing in writing. I’ve trained in Writing Workshop formats, Six Traits, have written three children’s books, and have a continued career as a romance writer.
Spooky Book Summary Report (5 days)
Creative Spooky Story Writing Unit (5 or 10 days)
Graphic Organizers for:
Spooky Summary Book Report
Creating a Main Character
Spooky Setting and Plot Map
Two writing sample paragraphs
Two Grading Rubics