Halloween Poems

& Activity Ideas

At the Pumpkin Patch

Rows and rows of pumpkin heads

All sleep on vines in farmers’ beds.

I wander through the orange sea

To pick a pumpkin just for me.

“Now, this one has a bumpy chin –

perfect for a witch’s grin.

Those lumpy ones are shaped just fine.

Maybe I’ll carve Frankenstein.

I like that sunken pumpkin there.

He’s a zombie without hair!”

So many pumpkins to pick through.

The perfect ones, I’ll leave for you.


Source: “Holiday Stew: A Kid’s Portion of Holiday and Seasonal Poems” by Jenny Whitehead

Spooky Halloween Night

It's very spooky on Halloween night,

The ghosts and goblins will give you a fright,

Watch your back, do not be blind,

If you're not careful who knows what you'll find?

You might see things like little black bats,

Or you might see things like scary black cats,

On every porch there's a pumpkin or two,

With their creepy grins smiling at you,

It's very spooky on Halloween night.


Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/

Activity Idea!

Acrostic and Emblematic poems out of Halloween words like, boo, pumpkin or ghost.

Books Worth Checking Out!
  • Who Said Boo? by Nancy White Carlstrom
  • Ragged Shadows by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Halloween Poems by Myra Cohn Livingston
  • Best Witches by Jane Yolen

This Is Halloween (Tim Burton)

SHADOW

Boys and girls of every age

Wouldn't you like to see something strange?

SIAMESE SHADOW

Come with us and you will see

This, our town of Halloween

PUMPKIN PATCH CHORUS

This is Halloween, this is Halloween

Pumpkins scream in the dead of night


GHOSTS

This is Halloween, everybody make a scream

Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of

fright

It's our town, everybody scream

In this town of Halloween


CREATURE UNDER BED

I am the one hiding under your bed

Teeth grown sharp and eyes glowing red


MAN UNDER THE STAIRS

I am the one hiding under your stairs

Fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair


CORPSE CHORUS

This is Halloween, this is Halloween

Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!


VAMPIRES

In this town we call home

Everyone hail to the pumpkin song


MAYOR

In this town, don't we love it now?

Everybody's waiting for the next surprise


CORPSE CHORUS

Round that corner, man hiding in the trash can

Something's waiting now to pounce, and how

you'll scream


HARLEOUIN DEMON, WEREWOLF, AND MELTING MAN

Scream! This is Halloween

Red 'n' black, slimy green


WEREWOLF

Aren't you scared?


WITCHES

Well, that's just fine

Say it once, say it twice

Take the chance and roll the dice

Ride with the moon in the dead of night


HANGING TREE

Everybody scream, everybody scream


HANGED MEN

In our town of Halloween


CLOWN

I am the clown with the tear-away face

Here in a flash and gone without a trace


SECOND GHOUL

I am the "who" when you call, "Who's there?"

I am the wind blowing through your hair


BOOGIE MAN

I am the shadow on the moon at night

Filling your dreams to the brim with fright


CORPSE CHORUS

This is Halloween, this is Halloween

Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!


CHILD CORPSE TRIO

Tender lumplings everywhere

Life's no fun without a good scare

PARENT CORPSES

That's our job, but we're not mean

in our town of Halloween


CORPSE CHORUS

In this town


MAYOR

Don't we love it now?


MAYOR WITH CORPSE CHORUS

Everyone's waiting for the next surprise


CORPSE CHORUS

Skeleton Jack might catch you in the back

And scream like a banshee

Make you jump out of your skin

This is Halloween, everybody scream

Won't ya please make way for a very special guy

Our man jack is king of the pumpkin patch

Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King now


EVERYONE

This is Halloween, this is Halloween

Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!


CORPSE CHILD TRIO

In this town we call home

Everyone hail to the pumpkin song


EVERYONE

La la-la la,la la la la la la la la la la Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

Halloween! (etc.)


Read more: Burton Tim - This Is Halloween Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Activity Idea!

Fun to dance to and act out all of the creatures being described.

Author Study - Jack Prelutsky - Tie in the Common Core!

In Pass the Poetry, Please!, Lee Bennett Hopkins states, "Holidays hold a special place in all our hearts. . . St. Valentine's Day and Halloween, though not considered legal holidays, bring to us hundreds of years of culture, wit and wisdom, folklore-- and fun!" (p. 228).


A Week of Halloween - Common Core - Fun


Monday - Hunt for Eggs on Halloween, then read a non-fiction text or article about Jack Prelutsky to introduce him as a poet.


Tuesday - read a second poem, perhaps something from his book Nightmares (which feature different scary figures like witches, vampire, etc.) and then write a short paragraph about what you plan to be for Halloween. If children aren't dressing up, they can write about the best costume they ever saw.


Wednesday - read Scary Scary Monster Song and then use the formula from his poem to have students write their own...

I'm a ....

That loves...

I dress...


Thursday - you could read another poem, then read a non-fiction piece of text that looks into the history of Halloween.


On Friday, read a poem and then do an art project.

Books and Poems by Jack Prelutsky that tie into Halloween

- Nightmares

- The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight

- A Gruesome Goblin

- Scary, Scary Monster Song

- We Hunt for Eggs on Halloween

- Most Ghosts

- It's Halloween

Haunted House

The haunted house

Ooo-ooo

Is dark inside

Ooo-ooo

Cat eyes glow

Ooo-ooo

Bat wings glide

Ooo-ooo

Are you afraid?

Ooo-ooo

Please come with me

Ooo-ooo

I’ll take your hand

Ooo-ooo

And we can be

Ooo-ooo

Scared together!

Source: Who Said Boo? Halloween Poems for the Very Young.

Written by Nancy White Carlstrom. p. 16

Bones

Tickle his funny bone

Make him grin

Rattle him, rattle him

Skeleton Jim


Source: Who Said Boo? Halloween Poems for the Very Young.

Written by Nancy White Carlstrom. p. 25

Wicked Witch's Kitchen

You’re in the mood for freaky food?

You feel your taste buds itchin’

For nice fresh poison ivy green?

Try Wicked Witch’s kitchen!

She has corn on the cobweb, cauldron-hot,

She makes the meanest cider,

But her broomstick cake and milkweed shakes

Aren’t fit to feed a spider.

She likes to brew hot toadstool stew –

“Come eat, my sweet! She’ll cackle-

But if you do, you’ll turn into

A jack-o’-lantern’s jackal.


-X.J. Kennedy

Source: Halloween Poems Selected by Myra Cohn Livingston. p. 11

How Many Witches?

How many witches on a broomstick?

How many black cats creeping by?

How many pumpkins in the garden?

How many full moons in the sky?

4-3-2-1

1-2-3-4

Knock! Knock! Knock! Knock!

Open up the door!


Source: Who Said Boo? Halloween Poems for the Very Young.

Written by Nancy White Carlstrom. p. 20

Faux-Campfire

In a Halloween themed book talk/program, you could create a faux-campfire and share stories. In a public library, scheduling it later in the day for a spooky ambience. In a school library, less lighting could mimic that effect.


Have the kids gather around, and you could read a suspenseful chapter in books like:


  • Bunnucula by James Howe
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl
  • The Monster’s Ring by Bruce Coville (a chant/rhyming verses is the catalyst for the events in this book)
  • Scary Tales series by James Preller


There are also some creepy comics for upper elementary, too, to share. Amulet has a haunted house. There’s also various halloween volumes in popular series. A comic interpretation of the Boxcar Children title The Haunted Cabin Mystery could be worth sharing. Including short story anthologies like the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series by Alvin Schwartz, Jon Sciezska’s Guys Read: Thriller, and Half-Minute Horrors would be fun. The last two feature contributions from favorites/future favorites of 3rd-5th graders.

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Enter This Deserted House

Shel Silverstein From Where the Sidewalk Ends


But please walk softly as you do.

Frogs dwell here and crickets too.

Ain't no ceiling, only blue

Jays dwell here and sunbeams too.

Floors are flowers - take a few.

Ferns grow here and daisies too.

Whoosh, swoosh - too-whit, too-woo,

Bats dwell here and hoot owls too.

Ha-ha-ha, hee-hee, hoo-hoooo,

Gnomes dwell here and goblins too.

And my child, I thought you knew

I dwell here...and so do you.

Activity Idea!

Recreate this poem in a program room or corner of the library and as you walk around describe what the children are seeing through recitation of the poem. You could also add some of your details and have the kids write their own poetic description of what they saw in the house.

Spookley the Square Pumpkin

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano


The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin is a good choice for reading around the Halloween holiday. This book stands out for delivering an important message about accepting others and celebrating our differences.


Stop Bullying Before it Starts


Activity Sheets

Materials for Children - Rutgers University

Group A - Amanda, Christina, Jessica, MaryJean, Patricia