Ever since I became a teacher, I wanted to do the Halloween Mystery Box idea where the students feel the “yucky” things that are supposed to be scary/creepy things. Last year, when I wanted an engaging Halloween activity that doubled as a writing activity, I knew I had to finally give this a try. I put my own spin on it and did it as “easy and low prep” as possible. Keep reading to learn the materials I used and how I set it up, as well as to grab some free downloads.
Here are the materials I used for the mystery bag Halloween activity:
Tupperware small enough to fit in the bags
Labeled table tents —-> Download the ones I used here.
Cooked noodles: guts
Sliced bananas: witches’ tongues
Egg roll “shells”: skin <—- This one is the least slimy/yucky, but it grosses me out the most!
Peeled grapes: eyeballs
Dried prunes: bat brains
Carved carrots: witches’ fingers
Setting Up the Halloween Activity:
I prepped all of the materials the night before. I bought pre-cooked noodles, so all I had to do was peel a few grapes, peel and slice some bananas, and carve some carrots to feel like witches’ fingers. I put all of the ingredients in the small Tupperware and placed it in the fridge. (Note: The bananas got super yucky, so I would definitely wait and slice those the morning of.)
Then, I created these simple table tents to place in front of the bags.
Click here to grab the downloadable table tents. This is a zip file that contains the PDF version and an editable PowerPoint version. You will have to download the zip file and then extract the contents (just like with Teachers Pay Teachers zip files).
At school the next day, I opened the containers and simply placed them in the bags with the table tent in front. A seasonal tablecloth added a nice touch!
In the Classroom
To introduce the activity, I did a little spiel about how I ordered some special “creepy” items for our next writing activity, but I kept it hush-hush because I wasn’t sure if they were going to actually come in. I told the students that the items on the labeled tents were actually in the bag. Did they believe me? Maybe only a few. Did they love it anyway? Yes! They totally ate it up.
I called a few students at a time to feel the contents of the bag, without looking inside the bag. The rest of the students could watch quietly or write while they waited on their turn. Some of the students were grossed out at the thought of touching a few of the items, so I let them pass. My only requirement was that they had to feel at least two of the items.
Halloween Writing Activity Extension:
After all of the students felt inside the bags (or at least two of them), I introduced the writing extension to calm the students back down and to tie the activity into the curriculum. This activity works well with sensory details, so we did a quick writing activity about what was in the bags. I let my students decide if they want to write what they really think was in the bag or go with the fantasy and write as if the creepy object were really in the bag. The only real requirement was that they had to include sensory details in their descriptions.
Looking for educational Halloween activities? Click here to see a blog post full of Halloween activities and ideas for math, literacy, and more!
Want to go straight to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and shop my Halloween resources? Click here to see all of my Halloween math centers and math printables, and Halloween literacy activities.
What do you think of this Halloween activity? Is this something you would do with your students (or have done)? Let me know in the comments!