We’re trick or treat-ing you to some wicked ideas! Happy Halloween!
Without a doubt, it’s an exciting time of year to be a kid. But Halloween is a great opportunity for teachers to connect with students and have some fun as well with a few spook-inspired lessons!
In running the Poet Warriors Project, TFA’s initiative to publish our students’ voices across the country, I’ve come across thousands of powerful student poems aimed at creating change. However, one of my all-time favorite submissions is actually one that just playfully indulges in ghoulish imagining and is perfect to revisit this time of year.
“Train Crash” was penned and published by Kydell Begaye, a 7th grader in Ms. Katrina Turner’s (New Mexico ’13) ELA classes. It is an abbreviated Civil War epic that follows a silver train’s untimely fall into hell at the hands of a bridge-burning zombie Confederate army. Amazing. I know. “Train Crash” is republished below, and is a good reminder that creativity thrives this time of year with the help of some inspiration and a cool teacher.
This Halloween, I want to urge all teachers to try a creative lesson with their students. The holiday lands nicely on a Friday, and I’ve written six spooky starters to get your kids’ brains brewing that morning. Please feel free to share more ideas in the comments section!
- My heart races as my feet pound on the dirt road. I look back, and see a hand reach out of the open grave…
- I wake up on the pavement, and feel the two deep bite marks on my neck…
- It’s just past midnight, when I hear her howl…
- I tighten the last bolt on the monster’s neck, take my lab gloves off, and step back…
- I take a deep breath, and begin interviewing the ghost of my great great great grandmother…
- From behind the bushes, I see him stir the boiling cauldron, and throw in the last few ingredients…
Don’t hesitate to get in contact with me if you’re interested in getting some of your kids’ creative responses published on our site, or if you’re interested in running our usual Poet Warriors curriculum.
by Kydell Begaye
On a cold night,
a steam train loaded with silver
going to Gettysburg.
80 miles away,
the wheels roll,
the loaded silver train runs to Gettysburg.
Union Soldiers fight with the Confederate.
But don’t know
they’re fighting with the undead.
The engine steam puffing to
40 miles per hour.
Heading over a dam,
the undead soldiers burn
down the bridge to flames.
One-by-one cars uncouple
from falling rails. The engine
moves faster, 10 feet away
from the cliff. The rails
snap causing the engine
to slip. The heavy tender
of coal pulls back the Engine.
The engine falls into the fire of
The silver makes it to
loaded with silver was loaded