Middle-school students are still obsessed with Halloween. Take advantage of their interest in this fun holiday with Wixie ideas that meet essential learning goals. Here are six ideas for Wixie projects that will get your middle-school learners engaged in the curriculum and creating to learn.
Idea 1: Bizarre Blackout Poetry
Creating blackout poetry encourages students to practice close reading and see how word choice affects meaning. Wixie’s Curriculum library includes a folder of familiar Literature excerpts students can use to create these fun and unique poems, including an excerpt from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
To write a blackout poem, students cover up words until the leftover words on a page form a poem. Students can add original artwork or even stickers from the Image library to capture the essence of their poem. Challenge students to use images to further enhance the meaning of their words.
You can find more blackout poetry templates by using the keyword “blackout” or by browsing Curriculum>Language Arts>Writing>Poetry>Blackout Poetry.
Idea 2: Character Autopsy
October is also National Book Month! Combine literature your students are reading with Halloween and encourage students to create an autopsy report to delve into what motivates the behaviors and attitudes of a character in their story.
Idea 3: Ghostly Graphic Novels
The new book layout in Wixie makes it easy for students to create spooky graphic novels that are perfect for Halloween. The picture format and lighter text requirements of a graphic novel will appeal to your reluctant and more advanced writers to further develop their writing skills.
Ask students to develop their own unique graphic novel to share. If students need a little push, give them prompts such as:• It was a dark and stormy night, suddenly there was a tap on my window…
• My friends and I were walking in the woods when we heard a terrifying screech…
• When I sat at my desk, suddenly a black cat jumped on my teacher's desk…
Students can use the New button and Book options to author a graphic novel from a blank canvas or use one of the spooky book templates available.
Idea 4: Spooky Surrealism
Introduce your students to the surrealist artwork by Hieronymus Bosch, whose work depicts themes that represent the good and bad in the world. Since many of his pieces are disturbing, you may want to share his work through Nancy Willard’s Pish, posh, said Hieronymus Bosch.
Use Wixie to have students develop their own surrealist artwork. Wixie’s Paint tools include symmetry options allowing students to paint an outline for a scary juxtaposition.
Once the artwork is finished, use Willard's model to have students write quatrain poetry to further describe their spooky scenes.
To dive further into this idea, explore the Surreal Symmetry Lesson Plan from Creative Educator.
Idea 5: Mythical Monsters
Folklore is filled with mythical creatures like the cyclops, sasquatch, Chupacabra, and gorgon. Halloween is a perfect time to dive into ancient myths and local legends. Students can craft a range of products to share stories and information about mythical monsters, including fictitious interviews, trading cards, eBooks, and videos.
Idea 6: Costume a Character
Twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than any other day of the year. While your middle-school learners might not go trick-or-treating, they can work to keep other kids safe.
To inspire students, have them simply create a fun protagonist using the costume design template. Then have them use that character to create safety messages and public service announcements to share with the community.
Spooky characters can help students develop empathy skills as they view the world through their character's eyes. Approaching empathy through silly monsters is a great way to provide a safe space to practice and discuss emotions and feelings.
No matter what you choose to do, take advantage of your middle schooler's passion and independence by asking them to create, design, and share work with a public audience.