Halloween as a fun, dress-up, skeleton-filled holiday is a pretty American phenomenon, but I’ve found that many international schools embrace the fun side of it as well. (Others, bear in mind, find Halloween to be a negative thing, so you’ll have to judge what the culture at your school is.) Having classes on October 31, when your school allows the children to dress up in costumes, presents some challenges. Enter Rattlebone Rock.
This book is aimed at younger primary students, but I’ve had older students enjoy it in the right settings too. Halloween creatures join in the rhythmical celebration one at a time, with short rhyming verses as each joins in with an onomatopoeic sound (“rappa-tap, rappa-tap”). The illustrations are cartoony line drawings, so the creatures are not scary, even for the little ones. Add instruments or body percussion on the beat for a simple lesson. With older students, you can play with dynamics and texture using the different sounds from the group.
For another fun Halloween-themed lesson, try Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre.