We are heading there fast: pumpkins are being hollowed out and witches costumes are being prepared. But where did it all start? The activity here answers the question in an A/B information gap on the history of Hallowe’en.
1 Ask your students to think of as many things as they can connected with Hallowe’en. Write them on the board as they are called out. After this, ask if any of them know where Hallowe’en started.
2 Divide the class into two groups, A and B. Give one copy of Worksheet A to each student in Group A and one copy of Worksheet B to each student in Group B. Ask them to work with a partner in their group to complete the questions at the bottom of the page. The aim of writing the questions is so students can ask the other group for the missing information in their text.
3 When they have written the questions and you have checked that the questions are acceptable, ask students to find a partner from the other group, and to form pairs of A and B.
4 Tell them to take it in turns to ask and answer the questions and write down the answers they get in their text. Remind them not to look at each other’s paper until the end. At the end of the activity, they can check each other’s texts.
1. Where does the name Hallowe’en come from?
2. What does All Hallows Eve mean?
3. Who celebrated the last day of the year on October 31st?
4. What was their (the druids’) god called?
5. Why did he (Samhain) free the spirits of the dead?
6. What did they (the druids) leave for their ancestors?
7. What did they wear?
8. What did the Pagan ritual become?
9. Who disappeared (along with the origins of the festival)?
10. Who said witches were unfit to live?
11. What were witches accused of?
12. What is seen as a bit of light-hearted fun?
As a follow up, ask students in pairs/small groups to find some other information about Hallowe’en and prepare a ‘scary’ class poster. Those who have a computer may wish to check out the sites below for additional information.
Web sites related to the lesson
Send your students to these websites or take a look yourself.
Hallowe’en jokes, recipes, music and party ideas
for stories, fun games and much more
despite being for 1998, there are some nice links
Materials taken from Inside Out, elessons, Macmillan Publishers Limited.