Illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Scary Night: Question Time!
Have a Halloween style goody bag filled with related items or pictures. Eg. bats, ghost picture, owl, crocodile, bear, pumpkin, cake, hat, parcel. Ask children to guess how these items might appear in the story. Ask, what do you know about Halloween? How do you feel about the dark night?
Look at the cover. How do you think the characters feel about where they are? What do you think the title is telling us about the story? Do you think it will be a story that is…funny? scary? serious?
Where do you think they’re going? Why is it a ‘mystery’?
Ask children to join in to answer the questions (‘Were they scared?’, ‘Did they shake?’, etc), the loud roaring and screaming, and the repeating lines (‘Did they give up? Of course they didn’t!’, ‘tip-toe creeping in the pale moonlight’)
How did you feel about the story? Were you afraid? Why do you think the friends kept going when they were so frightened? What would you do if you were scared? Where did the friends end up going to? Why do you think they were going to a party in the night? What do you think ‘tickled pink’ means?
Scary Night: Learning Time!
– Re-enact the story with some props; cake, hat, parcel and background items.
Characters include: Cat, Hare, Pig, crocodiles, bear, Goat.
– Alternatively, make the characters into puppets for a puppet show. Shown here are the characters drawn, coloured and cut out, taped onto black painted pop sticks, tip-toe creeping in front of a painted background.
– Write your own play for ‘Scary Night’. What kind of scary places, creatures and animals would you meet? Will you be going to a party or somewhere else?
– Write a creative answer to the question:
But where were they going in the dead of the night, tip-toe creeping in the pale moonlight? They were going to _____________. Illustrate.
– Make an open-the-flap-door card. On the front write
”Turn the handle. Sneak inside. Count to three and shout…”
Inside the door flap write your own word that the friend might shout. Who will be behind your door?
Shown is a lid from a baby wipes packet for the door. Alternatively, to make a flap-door, cut three lines in the centre of the paper, leaving the longer left side attached as the hinge.
Make a chart with each character and the first letter of their name. Eg. ‘C’ for Cat. List all the ‘c’ words that you can think of.
Repeat with ‘H’ for Hare and ‘P’ for Pig. Decorate.
– Complete the worksheets. ‘What Can Cat Carry to the Party?’, ‘Follow Pig along the Path!’, ‘Would you Dare to Scare a Hare if You Were a Bear?’ Download Scary Night Reading Worksheets
– Rhyming words.
Find and list the rhyming words in the story. Brainstorm other words that rhyme with… night, cave, roar, stairs, pink.
Find and list the adjectives in the story. Eg. scary, pale, snapping, cool, bold, grizzly, sharpened. Can you think of any more to describe the characters and setting in the story?
– Read other Halloween stories. How do they compare in terms of ‘scariness’?
– Space / Location.
Make an obstacle course with props and furniture. Use prepositional language as you use each piece of equipment.
Materials: cushions, chairs, block towers, blue material, dark sheets, table, paper.
Eg. over a hill (cushions), through the woods (blocks), across a creek (material), past a cave (sheet over table), up a mountain / stairs (boxes), behind a gravestone (chair), under the moonlight (paper on wall).
Here we have Porcupine with a present, tip-toe creeping on a mysterious journey.
– Number: Ordering numbers, Number Place, One to one correspondence.
Match the number order. Download Scary Night Number Order Worksheet
– Number stories.
Make up number stories about the characters. Use materials such as counters or toys to help.
Eg. There was one friend and three more came to his party. How many friends altogether?
There were five bats and two bats flew away. How many bats are left?
– Heaps of fun Science Activities for Halloween can be found at:
– Static Powered Dancing Ghost or Bat
Teaching tips on Static Electicity: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/26688/static-electricity
– Haunted Halloween Ice Hand Melts
– Halloween crafts from Red Ted Art:
Cute pom pom bats:
– Halloween Shadow Makers:
– Paper Cat Crafts:
Purchase Scary Night at Boomerang Books.
Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp 2014.
All sourced resources have been cited.
Lessons for personal and classroom use only, and not permitted for commercial use.