The Halloween Collection

Halloween dates back thousands of years to the Celtic people of ancient Europe, who recognized October 31 as the last day of autumn and had festivals to celebrate. This was the time that the regular world and spirit world were thought to be closest, so people wore masks and costumes to fend off roaming ghosts. Over time, the holiday evolved into a secular and community-based event known for activities like trick-or-treating and bobbing for apples that we love today. Halloween is a time to celebrate superstition and changing seasons, and this collection aims to do just that. Make slime, use math to share candy, study zombie brains, and explore the concept of fear with these videos and lesson plans for PreK-12.

  • Halloween Spooky Science Special | Sid the Science Kid

    In these Halloween segments from Sid the Science Kid, kids learn that bats are helpful creatures that catch mosquitoes, spiders are expert web builders, and cats have fantastic leaping abilities. They also learn that skeletons help hold up our bodies, and slime can be a solid or a liquid depending on its composition.

    Grades: PreK-1
  • Shadows Can Be Scary | Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

    Daniel sees a scary shadow on the wall, but Dad shows him that shadows can be fun. Teach kids that being brave and investigating scary things together helps make things seem not as bad.

    Grades: PreK-1
  • Tiger Trick or Treat | Peg + Cat

    Peg, Cat, and Richard meet a tiger while trick or treating. They hide in a tree, but their treats are still on the ground. Peg uses counting and problem solving skills to get them back.

    Grades: PreK-1
  • Halloween | All About the Holidays

    Halloween hasn't always been about candy and costumes. Take a look back at the historical traditions about spirits that are the basis for this holiday. You're in for a treat!

    Grades: 2-6
  • Sharing Halloween Candy | Cyberchase

    In this video segment from Cyberchase, Buzz, Delete, and Harold are trying to share 18 pieces of candy equally among themselves. Jackie helps them by demonstrating how to divide the candies equally by distributing the candies in rounds.

    Grades: 3-6
  • The Fastest Broom

    In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad has three of Wicked’s brooms. They try to determine which one is the fastest by having a race. Racing against each other doesn’t give them the exact results they need, so they decide to race one at a time against the clock to see which broom travels the farthest.

    Grades: 4-5
  • The Zombie Autopsies | You'll be Wishin' for Some Neurotransmission

    This lesson from PBS NewsHour Presents: The Zombie Autopsies introduces students to neurons and neurotransmission through multi-media and active learning games. This lesson was inspired by The Zombie Autopsies by Dr. Steven Schlozman.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Attack of the Zombie Parasites! | It's Okay to Be Smart

    Shows like The Walking Dead are full of hungry, mindless, surprisingly fleet-footed armies of brain-eating zombies. Could they actually exist? Are zombies real? Well, maybe if you’re talking about zom-bees! This week I introduce you to some of nature’s strangest mind-controlling parasites, who make zombies of the natural world. This one will make your brain tingle.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Why Do Things Sound Scary? | It's Okay to Be Smart

    Why are sounds scary? They're just vibrations. Blame your brain! Join Joe Hanson, host of It's Okay to Be Smart, and enter a dimension of sound, science, and fear.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Why I'm Scared of Spiders | It's Okay to Be Smart

    I'm scared of spiders. I'm not afraid to admit it. I love them in a scientific sense, or from a "let me look at you from way over here" sense, but that's as close as I get. Here's a look at the science of why some of us are afraid of spiders, snakes, roaches, and other creepy crawlies. Did I evolve to be this way, or did I learn to be afraid of them? It seems to be an open question…

    Grades: 6-12
  • Halloween Special: Watch Flesh-Eating Beetles Strip Bodies to the Bone | Deep Look

    Dermestid Beetles are fast and fastidious eaters. They can pick a carcass clean in just days leaving even the most delicate bone structures intact. This makes them the perfect tool for museum scientists—if you keep them far, far away from valuable collections.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Salem Witch Trials | Genealogy Roadshow

    In the devoutly Puritan colony of Salem, Massachusetts during the mid to late 1600s, anxiety and mistrust led to a wave of hysteria when a group of adolescent girls accused members of the colony of witchcraft. Learn more about the dark history of the Salem Witch Trials with this clip from season 3 of Genealogy Roadshow.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Supernatural Elements in Macbeth

    In this self-paced lesson, students explore how Shakespeare uses supernatural elements in Macbeth. The lesson begins with an exploration of beliefs about the supernatural and witchcraft in Shakespeare’s time as presented in a segment from Shakespeare Uncovered. Students turn to the text of Macbeth and analyze the action, imagery, characterization, and language of Act I, Scene iii (the scene in which Macbeth and Banquo first encounter the witches and hear their predictions). Then, students view another segment from Shakespeare Uncovered and explore key questions about the role of the witches in the action of Macbeth. Finally, they examine other supernatural episodes in the play and produce a paper exploring the impact and meaning of one of these episodes. This lesson is best used after a reading of Macbeth.

    Grades: 9-12