I love holidays as a teacher. The children are excited no mater the holiday theme and you can hide learning opportunities everywhere. Halloween is one of those holidays where I haven’t found a book that I absolutely love for the story, however, I can’t complain about the teachable moments that show up in nearly every book.
Some books are more obvious about their learning concepts than others. Books such as Monster Math and Five Little Pumpkins obviously cover math skills. Five little pumpkins is a simple early reader that covers numbers one through five. Monster Math is a little more advanced covering numbers one through ten then skip counting up to fifty and works back down to one. Both books reinforce the concept of counting and number sense.
Another obvious title is AlphaOops H is for Halloween. This book reviews letters, their sounds and pairs Halloween vocabulary with each letter of the alphabet. This is a great book for children learning their letters or for children who want to know more about Halloween than just pumpkins, ghosts, witches, costumes and candy.
Some titles aren’t as direct in their learning concepts in the title or in the story, but they provide ample learning opportunities throughout. Some you may be able to see in the title of the story and some, you may have to read the story to find the teachable moments.
A key math concept that young children need to learn is how identify and sort by varying attributes such as shape or size. The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin and The Littlest Pumpkin help the readers to explore different attributes of pumpkins. I really like these stories because you can follow up with a trip to a pumpkin patch or local market and explore the attributes of real pumpkins such as big and little, tall and short, round and not round, orange and green or white, and smooth or rough.
While you are taking a trip to the pumpkin patch, it would be nice to know how pumpkins grow. A ccommon kindergarten science standard covers living and non-living things and the understanding of what living things need to grow and live. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever and Pumpkin Pumpkin are two very appropriate books that describe how a pumpkin grows and what it takes to keep it living.
Another science standard for kindergarten is to identify and understand the uses of the five senses. Halloween and the fall season provide numerous opportunities to explore the five senses. If any Halloween book you read talks about a certain smell, taste, feel, sound or sight, I would highly recommend investigating it after you read. The sense of hearing is one that does not require investigation many times in Halloween stories because they provide us with action and sound words like, “creek” and “Whoosh.” One of my favorite books to help understand the sense of hearing is Skeleton Meets the Mummy.
Now for some of my favorite books that help with the understanding of Halloween. The Best Halloween Ever and Trick or Treat on Monster Street teach children to be brave and wait until the end so they can find out there is nothing to be afraid of. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything also encourages children to be brave, but also motivates kids to become involved in the actions of the story as they go clomp, clomp, wiggle, wiggle throughout the story!
No matter what Halloween story you choose to read with your child, look for those teachable moments and enjoy the story!
If you need ideas of what concepts to search for, check your local school district’s website for curriculum or standards that pertain to your child’s age. You can also reference the Common Core Standards for more broadly accepted math and reading standards.
This is but a small fraction of books we have regarding Halloween, See all our books about Halloween by clicking here.