In my county in Maryland, we have been teaching virtually since March. Beginning in May, I began hosting a virtual monthly bedtime read aloud, with themes such as family, love, friendship, and positive self-esteem. The month in which we had the most fun was October. My Halloween-themed read aloud included titles such as Creepy Carrots, Creepy Pair of Underwear, Monster Trucks, Stumpkin, Ten Little Pumpkins, The Pomegranate Witch, and Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies!
A good friend of mine created an amazing wall display of the ten pumpkins, complete with their individual personalities, and a pomegranate tree and witch silhouette. Orange lights, witch’s hat, pumpkin, and electric candles completed the spooky atmosphere of my office. My mom dressed up as a witch, and came from behind me with pomegranates so that I could show them to my students, my awesome principal dressed up as (what I called) an Elton John look-alike, and read Turkey Trick or Treat and shared “corny” Halloween jokes between my readings.
While all books were well received by our students, it wasn’t until I read Aaron Reynold’s and Peter Brown’s books that my listeners screamed with excitement! My talented friend had created stick puppets of Jasper Rabbit, the three creepy carrots, and the creepy Frankenstein underwear, and as I read the stories, she knelt on the floor and had them pop up and dance behind me. It was sooo much fun seeing my students light up, so excited, and trying to warn me of their existence. They screamed so loud that my media assistant kept trying to ‘mute all’, so they could hear me read, but they didn’t care if they could hear the stories – they knew them by heart – and they were desperate to warn me!
At the end of the event we had a Zoom costume parade, and “pinned” each student that wanted to show off their costume. While this wasn’t our typical in-school Halloween celebration, it certainly did help to fill that need to be together on a fun and creepy holiday.
What fun we adults had putting this Halloween reading celebration together for our students!
- Creepy Carrots written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown
- Creepy Pair of Underwear written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown
- Monster Trucks written by Anika Denise and illustrated by Nate Wragg
- Stumpkin written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
- Ten Little Pumpkins written by Rosie Greening and illustrated by Lara Ede
- The Pomegranate Witch written by Denise Doyen and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
- Turkey Trick or Treat written by Wendi Silvano and illustrated by Lee Harper
- Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies created by Jorge and Megan Lacera