Nothing screams Halloween more than scary stories. Throughout fall and October, engage your English language arts classes with eerie reading passages and haunting writing activities. Use resources that are directly Halloween-themed, tales that are generally ghoulish, or lesson plans that celebrate Latinx and Hispanic culture and Halloween all at once. While your students may or may not still be trick-or-treating, they’ll love getting into the spooky spirit with these middle and high school Halloween reading activities.
10 Halloween Reading Comprehension Activities for Middle and High School
Teach your middle and high school students eerie classics like “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Macbeth, or bring modern urban legends into the classroom through a format known for its creepy explorations — podcasts. The first half of October is not only Halloween season, but also Hispanic Heritage Month, so take the opportunity to bring in spooky stories like “La Llorona.” No matter what you decide to teach, these Halloween activities are sure to engage your middle and high school English classes.
Halloween Logic Puzzle for the English ESL/EFL classroom by Brighter Day Classroom
Use this logic puzzle to test your students’ reading comprehension skills, fill in time after tests or for early-finishers, or have some spooky fun with substitute teachers. This Halloween activity will keep your students on their toes while trying to figure out who wore each costume for the scariest night of the year.
Making Inferences High Interest Short Stories Middle and High School by Catch-Up Learning
Keep your students hanging in suspense with this comprehensive, differentiated ELA bundle. Each gripping story has comprehension, inference, and spelling activities, plus a graphic organizer, to ensure your students’ success.
This adapted text version of “The Tell-Tale Heart” makes Edgar Allen Poe’s classic accessible to more readers, including ESL, ENL, and Special Ed. The unit includes 5 days of lessons plans.
The Monkey’s Paw Short Story Unit by Teaching Muse
Take your students through the twists and turns of this haunting short story by using these reading activities about vocabulary, plot, sequencing, theme, and mood.
La Llorona Story – Spooky Halloween Alternative – Hispanic Heritage Month by MrsReaderPants Library Lessons
Engage your students with this spooky Mexican folktale “La Llorona.” This unit includes an illustrated story, discussion questions, and a creative writing prompt.
The Tell-Tale Heart: Reading Quiz by Onto the Next Chapter
This free digital knowledge check or assessment will help you gauge just how much information your students can tell you about this tale.
Scary Short Story Units – Horror Stories – Halloween Reading Comprehension by Creative Classroom Core
This bundle contains three scary short stories, including “The Birds” by Daphne DuMaurier, “The Elevator” by William Sleator, and “Click Clack the Rattle Bag” by Neil Gaiman. Each is a Halloween reading comprehension unit with questions, annotations activities, graphic organizers, answer keys, and more.
Get spooky with Shakespeare this fall through his tragic play, Macbeth. This resource includes historical context, vocabulary activities, and critical thinking questions.
LORD OF THE FLIES FINAL EXAM by SchoolinLife32 X TeachLove
Test your students’ reading skills with this final assessment of the eerie book, Lord of the Flies. While not explicitly Halloween-themed, the creepy motifs and themes certainly meet the criteria for haunting.
Scary Podcasts: Lore and Urban Legends by Engaging and Effective
The murder mystery podcast is a modern day phenomenon that can make your high school Halloween lesson plans more engaging than ever. Bring a historical twist to the format by using it to teach students about urban legends.
Find more spooktacular middle and high school Halloween reading activities that will delight your students on TPT.
This blog post, originally published in 2022, has been updated for 2023.