This Halloween, break out the scissors, stapler, glue and construction paper and decorate the classroom with spooky student-made paper lanterns.
Content areas: Calendar skills, fine motor skills, art, reading, narrative writing
Materials for Halloween Lanterns:
- Various colors of 8 1/2 X 11 or larger construction paper
- scraps of construction paper and other craft material (buttons, feathers, glitter, etc.)
- Hole puncher
Model each of the first three steps, allowing time for students to finish each step before moving on. Younger students may also need help with stapling.
- Ask students to fold a piece of rectangular construction paper (8 1/2 X 11″ works well) in half. Folding the paper into a longer, skinnier rectangle will result in a fatter lantern. Folding the paper into a broader rectangle will ultimately create a thinner lantern.
- Tell students to use scissors to cut straight 1-inch parallel strips a cross the paper . Start each strip on the folded side and leave about an inch of uncut construction paper (i.e. do not cut all the way across the paper). Classroom Management Strategy: For younger students, draw cutting lines on the paper in advance.
- Unfold the paper and make a tube out of the paper. If rolled correctly, the strips will be vertical, and the fold will be horizontal. Staple the edges together to maintain the tube shape. Classroom management strategy: Walk around with a stapler in order to assure that students correctly made the tube.
- Ask students to provide the names of different Halloween characters (examples: monsters, jack-o-lanterns, bats, black cats, goblins, witches, scarecrows). Write each word on board so that students will have a selection of ideas from which to work.
- Show students how to use scissors, glue, construction paper, and other odds-and-ends to create a Halloween character on the lantern. Model how thin strips of paper can be curled or folded fan-style to create hair, arms, legs, whiskers and other whimsical features. Show students how different expressions can be made with eyebrows, eye shape, and mouth shape. Does the witch need a hat? What shape are a bat’s wings? Does the scarecrow need ears? What would make the Halloween cat more sinister? Encourage students to use their creativity.
- Allow the glue on the finished lanterns to dry.
- Punch a hole in each lantern. Tie a loop of yarn through each hole punch so that the Halloween creatures can be hung in the windows or from the ceiling.
Follow-up with a great Halloween book! for the class, and have students write their own creepy stories to go with their lantern characters!
Halloween picture book suggestions:
- Poultrygeist by Mary Jane Auch
- Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler
- Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting
- On Halloween Night by Harriet Ziefert
- The Night Before Halloween by Natasha Wing