No Tricks, Just Treats: Halloween Read Alouds and Lesson Plans for Your Literacy Block

If October 31st is fast approaching, it can only mean one thing - your students have costumes and candy on the brain!

As the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them! Incorporating lesson plans that are based on Halloween-themed read alouds honors your students' need to celebrate and your need to keep an eye on the academic prize.

Luckily, BookPagez’s ready-to-use resources make it easy to turn your literacy block into a frightfully good time while staying focused on building reading comprehension, improving vocabulary, and learning how words work.

A Week's Worth of Read Aloud Resources to Pair with The Hallo-Weiner by Dav Pilkey:

Competing for your students' attention when classroom chatter is focused on what everyone is going to be for Halloween is a challenge. That's why you need Oscar. Oscar is a dog. He is a half-a-dog tall and one-and-a-half dogs long. He is also the star of the show in Dav Pilkey's The Hallo-Wiener.

Because of his unusual size, Oscar gets made fun of – a lot. So when Oscar’s mother makes him dress up as a hot dog in a bun for Halloween, Oscar’s problems go from bad to worse. Students will laugh out loud as they learn about text structures, use picture clues to make inferences, determine importance, and make predictions about events in this fun Halloween read aloud.

So arm yourself with a copy of the book and this set of The Hallo-Wiener read aloud resources because we've got a week's worth of instruction brimming with Halloween fun.


With just the right amount of suspense, The Hallo-Wiener is an ideal read aloud to model making predictions. Gather your students and use the step-by-step mini lesson to focus on making predictions about story events and character behavior.

Depending on the needs of your students, you can read the book again and focus on another comprehension strategy, or you can use the Making Predictions Reader's Notebook Prompt to practice writing about reading.

Do your students know the meaning of the words ghastly or ornery? How about hounded? Give your students' vocabularies a boost by playing memory using the interactive sorting cards included in the resource set.

Test your students' comprehension and recall with a game of True or False Trick or Treat. The included game board and true or false game cards will keep even your most ghoulish little goblins engaged and focused on reading skills.

It turns out that Oscar has a lot of nicknames. His mother calls him "her little Vienna Sausage" and the cats in his neighborhood think he's a "Frankfurter". Use this play on words to finish the week with an interactive mini lesson focused on synonyms.

A Week's Worth of Read Aloud Resources to Pair with Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman:

Repetitive text, a simple storyline, and rhyming words make Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman the perfect selection for kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms.

Join Witch and her friends as they work together to pull a giant pumpkin from the vine in this fun seasonal treat of a story. Students will have fun "reading" the story along with you as they naturally use a variety of comprehension strategies including asking questions, making connections, making inferences, making predictions, and retelling.


Big Pumpkin is the perfect Halloween read aloud for a lesson focused on retelling and summarizing. When paired with the BookPagez resources, Erica Silverman's repetitive text and limited cast of characters make it easy for students to identify basic story elements and important events.

Depending on the needs of your students, you can read the book again and focus on another comprehension strategy, or you can use the Retelling and Summarizing Student Practice Page to practice writing about reading.

Do your students know the meaning of the words boasted and drat? How about sprouted? Help your students add new words to their vocabularies by matching new words to pictures and definitions with the easy to print and prep sorting cards.

Understanding cause and effect is a key comprehension and language skill. The text structure of Big Pumpkin includes several examples of cause and effect relationships, making it a smart choice to challenge little witch's and wizard's matching skills. Print the cause and effect matching cards for an easy center or partner game.

The witch and her friends were determined to get the pumpkin off the vine and down the hill so the witch could make a Halloween pumpkin pie! Let your students put their retelling and summarizing skills to the text with the sequencing book for Big Pumpkin - students will read a set of story cards, put the cards in order and color the pictures to make their very own I book.

A Week's Worth of Read Aloud Resources to Pair with The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons

Celebrate Halloween with The Pumpkin Book and take your students on a journey through the captivating world of pumpkins. Discover their fascinating growth process, explore the pumpkin's role in history and culture, and uncover the secrets behind carving jack-o'-lanterns.

From seed to vine to Halloween jack-o-lanterns, author, Gail Gibbons, covers all things pumpkin in this nonfiction book for beginning readers. Students will enjoy adding new words to their pumpkin-related vocabulary. They will also have fun connecting what the already know about pumpkins to the new information in this book - by the time the week is done every one of your students will be a pumpkin expert!

Pumpkin carving is a hallmark tradition of the Halloween season. Your students probably have their pumpkins picked out and are eagerly waiting to turn them into this year's jack-o-lantern. Because your students have pumpkins on the brain, the making connections lesson plan for The Pumpkin Book will help you keep your students focused on developing their comprehension skills, even if they're distracted by the season.

Comprehending nonfiction is an essential skill every student can master. Take a deeper dive into nonfiction by teaching your students how to gather information from a variety of nonfiction text features, including illustrations, captions and diagrams. As a result, developing readers will begin to see how these types of nonfiction text structures can be used to enhance comprehension.

Chances are, by this point in the school year, you've spent some time talking about digraphs. The Pumpkin Book gives students to interact with digraphs in an authentic way. Use the Word Work resources to provide your students with an opportunity to practice working with the -th digraph at the beginning, middle, and end of the words.

Try assigning students one of the digital comprehension activities for centers or independent reading time. Students can practice determining importance, retelling and summarizing, understanding text structure, or visualizing with read-to-me questions and multiple answer formats, they will stay engaged and show what they know about pumpkins. You can even try the comprehension assessment! It's only nine questions, but Digital Classroom will grade it for you - (because teachers deserve treats too).

Draw connections and compare and contrast the information in The Pumpkin Book to another book all about pumpkins. We like Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell because it tells the story of what happens to a jack-o-lantern when Halloween is over. You can use the compare and contrast printables here to scaffold your conversation about the two books.

More Halloween Read Alouds and Resource Sets to Explore

BookPagez has dozens of lesson plans and activities for the best Halloween books. You can build entire units of study using Halloween books, or you can mix up your area of focus each day, similar to the weeks outlined above. So, whether you want to focus on one strategy using multiple books, or you want to pick and choose your resources, you're sure to find plenty of options to keep your students focused and engaged - no matter how many candy corns they snuck into snacktime. Happy Halloween!

Content and Downloadable content Copyright ©2010-2023 Thinking Tree Enterprises, LLC. All other trademarks, service marks and trade names referenced on this site are the property of their respective owners. Please see our Terms of Use.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
© 2010 - 2023

Get instant access to this resource plus thousands more when you join today.

  • Teach with the best books
  • Always have access to new resources (published every month!)
  • Get full access to Digital Classroom
  • Finally have time to "fit it all in" with super efficient lesson plans
  • Enjoy fast planning tools and stay organized with your personal file cabinet and dashboard