The Skeleton’s Parade is a classic Halloween poem that is sure to get you, and your classroom, all excited for the festive season! This lesson plan helps showcase the very best activities around the poem, and helps you structure a unit of work around it!
Objective: Students will engage with the children’s Halloween poem “The Skeleton Parade,” focusing on rhythm, imagery, and creative expression. They will also participate in group discussions, creative writing, and artistic activities to deepen their understanding of the poem’s themes and evoke the Halloween spirit.
- Copies of the poem “The Skeleton Parade” by Jack Prelutsky (enough for each student)
- Projector or whiteboard for displaying the poem
- Writing materials (crayons, markers, pencils, pens, paper)
- Art supplies (colored pencils, markers, watercolors)
- Halloween decorations (optional)
Day 1: Introduction and Initial Reading
- Begin by discussing Halloween and asking students what they enjoy most about this holiday. Share a brief overview of the poem “The Skeleton Parade” and its lighthearted and spooky nature.
- Distribute copies of the poem to the students or display it on the projector.
- Read the poem aloud, emphasizing rhythm, rhyme, and mood.
- Engage in a class discussion about the poem. Ask students about their initial reactions, any favorite lines, and the imagery that stood out.
Day 2: Analyzing Rhythm and Imagery
- Review the poem briefly, focusing on its rhythm and rhyme scheme.
- In pairs or small groups, have students identify the rhyming words and discuss how the rhythm contributes to the spooky atmosphere of the poem.
- Guide students to identify specific images and descriptions that create vivid mental pictures. Discuss how these images enhance the poem’s Halloween theme.
- As a class, create a list of descriptive words and phrases used in the poem that contribute to the spooky mood.
Day 3: Creative Writing and Artistic Expression
- Begin by reviewing the rhythm and imagery discussed in the previous lesson.
- Instruct students to select their favorite stanza from the poem.
- Have students write a short creative paragraph or poem inspired by their chosen stanza. Encourage them to invent their own spooky creatures or scenes.
- Distribute art supplies and ask students to illustrate their written pieces, depicting the creatures or scenes they imagined.
- Allow students to share their creative writing and artwork with the class, explaining their choices and how they were inspired by the original poem.
- Participation in class discussions and group activities.
- Accuracy in identifying rhyming words and discussing rhythm.
- Creativity and originality demonstrated in the creative writing and artistic expression.
- Ability to explain the connections between their work and the original poem.
- Overall engagement and understanding of the poem’s rhythm, imagery, and Halloween theme.
- Explore other Halloween-themed poems by Jack Prelutsky or different poets and compare their styles and themes.
- Organize a Halloween poetry reading event where students can recite their own poems or share their favorite spooky poems with their classmates.
- Create a classroom display featuring the students’ written pieces and artwork, along with some Halloween decorations.
- Have students work together to create a class Halloween poem, with each student contributing a stanza or line.