Sometimes it’s tough to get students motivated about a project or activity when a popular holiday is right around the corner. One strategy that I’ve found works is to use the holiday as motivation and combine it with a project. One of the holidays this works well with is Halloween. I’d like to share with you the Haunted House Project – a spooky design unit before Halloween.
The Haunted House Project follows all four design steps – research, planning, creating, and evaluating – and gives the students plenty of practice with each step. It’s designed to work for students 5th – 8th grade, and includes:
- A full project plan from start to finish
- Lesson plans for each task
- x5 Printable assignments
- x5 Printable MYP IB rubrics
- Extension ideas to further challenge and support students
If you’re interested, you can check out the Haunted House Project here.
Teaching the Haunted House Project
This project is all about reteaching and practicing the different skills in design. Each part of the design cycle is reinforced in the Haunted House project, as students go through their research, design, creation, and reflection steps in the project.
One of the recurring ideas in the project is the idea that the students’ haunted house should include “spooky ideas.” Spooky ideas are ideas that may scare the visitors to the haunted house. Spooky ideas are first used during research, when students use their research skills to learn more about haunted houses. Based on this research, students add those ideas to their haunted house designs, and eventually in their creation of the final haunted house.
A new focus for the Haunted House Project is the idea of a budget. Starting with the research phase of the project, the students are asked to keep track of how much the props and materials for the spooky ideas they find cost. As the students continue the project, the issue of cost keeps getting asked. While the idea of a budget is not core to teaching design, it’s a great skill to learn, and can be assessed at the top end of the rubric.
More Design Ideas
One of the things I am really passionate about is helping teachers improve and save time. I hope this article has helped you with your teaching. If you are feeling swamped, and want to save some time, I have quite a few other resources I’ve built along the way. Some are free, and I hope they can help you improve. Others cost money, and I hope they save you time. You can check them out here at my TPT store. Thanks for checking them out!
Decorating Your Classroom
If you want to really get in the Halloween mood, I found some really fun Halloween classroom decorations. They can be great for adding some zing and zang to your classroom come October. Check them out below.
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