Take students beyond the decorations and ask them to identify what a holiday reveals about a culture's values. Then, push them further as they develop their own holidays.
The Raven is a great starting point for students' to learn about Poe. Not only does the poem clearly demonstrate "tone," but it is a figurative language tour de force. Plus, there are some amazing readings available online!
With Halloween approaching, it's a great time to expose students to some spooky classics. Lucky for us, many of these stories are in the public domain and freely available in many formats.
Don't ask why I was looking at this Disney Pin Trading site featuring Disney characters dressed up like other Disney characters, but it inspired a Halloween-themed character analysis activity. Characters from film or literature dress up like other characters based on some parallel such as: conflict, trait, accomplishment, etc.
Let's write a persuasive essay about one holiday from the point of view of another holiday's "mascot." For example, what would the Easter Bunny think about Christmas, how would Santa feel about Valentine's Day, and what would a Turkey have to say about St. Patrick's Day?
Halloween is coming up, and it's a hard one to ignore in the classroom. Sure, you can always use the traditional cut and paste pumpkin activity, but let's think about how we can capture students' excitement and use it to deepen thinking and increase knowledge?