1. Halloween Art Lessons: Halloween Shapes & Symbols Using Magazine Strips
Materials: Magazine strips, glue, scissors, construction paper, and FREE Halloween templates
To get started on this lesson, download the silhouette outlines of the Halloween symbols HERE. Cut out the templates and have the kids use them to trace onto thick construction paper (the kids can share to save on paper).
Then, depending on the age of your students, you can either have your students cut the strips of magazine pages OR you can pre-cut them and set them out on the table for the start of this project. I like to pre-cut because I have a paper cutter, and it’s much faster (and straighter) if I do it. The kids take a looonnnggg time when they look through the magazines because they get…ya know…distracted!
Students should then cut the magazine strips to fit into the Halloween shape they traced. They can play with the direction and texture as they place the strips within their Halloween shape. This project is excellent for fine motor development.
Once your students have filled the shape with the magazine strips, they can then cut it out. This will “trim” the edge that didn’t line up perfectly. Finally, glue the finished work to a different color of construction paper and hang it up for display. The final artwork will be full of texture, color, and lines!
2. Halloween Art Lessons: Pumpkins with Tissue Paper
Materials: Tissue paper, orange crayon, glue, scissors, paintbrushes, permanent marker, construction paper, and FREE Pumpkin template (click HERE).
I like to use the technique of this lesson for all different kinds of other projects. It’s a nice “trick” to have up your sleeve as a teacher. I love the way different warm colors of tissue paper like orange, yellow, and red create new and interesting colors. The final pumpkins are rich in color and texture.
Kids get to work on cutting and gluing while strengthening their fine motor skills. Again, depending on your students, either pre-cut the tissue paper, have them cut or tear it.
Steps for Tissue Paper Pumpkins
- To start this project, have students trace a pumpkin template onto a piece of construction paper and outline it with a thick black marker (it needs to be a permanent marker, or it will bleed when it gets wet from the glue). Download the free template HERE if you have not already).
- Then, each student should color their pumpkin with an orange crayon
- For step three, place a few drops of glue down onto the pumpkin and then add the pieces of tissue paper. Cover the entire pumpkin going over the edges with the tissue paper. Be sure to let pieces overlap, so you create new shades of yellow, orange, and red.
- Finally, put glue over the top of the tissue-papered pumpkin and “paint” the glue on top to create a consistent layer over the pumpkin—this is sort of like using modge-podge.
- Once the tissue paper and glue dry, cut out along the pumpkin outline to reveal the final artwork. I like to glue it to black backgrounds to get a strong contrast!
3. Halloween Art Lessons: Interactive Halloween Coloring Sheets
Materials: Crayons, colored pencils or markers, and interactive coloring sheets.
I have had an interest in Pop Art all of my adult life. I created interactive Pop Art style coloring sheets to provide students with the opportunity to learn about Pop Art images themselves.
The great part about these coloring sheets is that no two will ever be the same. There is an endless number of combinations students can create with my coloring sheets. Writing prompts are included with these sheets to help align them to the common core and provide students more time to practice writing.
Here is what one of my Instagram teacher friends says about my interactive coloring sheets…
“I found that my 5th/6th graders come to me and, because of the focus on testing, never played with color or design or patterns. Your products give them that opportunity, and I’ve seen so much improvement in their attention to detail and noticing patterns, lines, etc. It’s so much more than just coloring.”
To get these coloring sheets to use in your classroom, click HERE.
Free Sample Page of My Interactive Coloring Pages
If you’d like to try one of my Interactive Coloring Pages for FREE simply join my email list below, and I’ll send you a free copy of my stacked pumpkin interactive coloring page. This freebie includes a pop art handout, instructions, an example, and the stacked pumpkin coloring page!
I love to spoil my email list by sending freebies, tips, and tricks as well as special announcements of sales designs exclusively for my email subscribers – not to mention after you join, you’ll get invited to my subscribers-only library of freebies like this free pumpkin page! Sign up below…
4. Halloween Art Lessons: “Create a Creature” Group Project
Materials: 8.5″ x 11″ paper, pencils, crayons/markers/pencils, and handouts.
This lesson is an adaptation of the popular Exquisite Corpse game made popular by Surrealist artists like Salvador Dali. I, for one, don’t like using that name with students, so I’ve always done my own version called “Create a Creature.” I’ve made an easy handout with directions so you can use this lesson as an “I’m done” activity, with a sub, or with your entire class for fun. A writing prompt is also included—giving students more time to practice developing their writing skills. Your kids are going to L-A-U-G-H with this project!!! It’s a great group project.
Get your FREE handouts and directions to this lesson HERE.
5. Halloween Art Lessons: Ghost Story Tessellation Collaboration Project
Materials: Copy paper, pencils, erasers, markers/crayons, or colored pencils and project instructions and pages.
While discussing group activities, I would like to share my ghost story collaboration tessellation project (reviewing story elements). This is one of those projects that looks complicated (and is a mouthful to say) but is so easy for you as the educator. I have done everything possible to make this easy for you and fun for your students—I have even included a teaching video.
As one educator said…
” There are so many options to make this fit your class and your kids!!! An idea page with the story elements, a prewriting page, regular lines, early elementary lines, fill in the blank stories (more than one to choose from), story starters, completely blank ghosts!! This TPT lady knows what we want to make this fit our class the best and gives us what we need to do so!!!”
If you’d like to try it with your students, you can find it on Teachers Pay Teachers HERE.
6. Halloween Art Lessons: Milk Carton Haunted Houses
Materials: Empty milk cartons, construction paper, scissors, glue, and masking tape.
Have you ever been in the lunchroom at the end of lunch to witness all the milk cartons that get thrown away (or maybe recycled)? One year I decided that we should make little haunted houses with those empty milk cartons. Luckily I have a super cool custodian, and he was kind enough to save the milk cartons. He even rinsed them out–what a guy!
Milk Carton Haunted Houses Steps
- To start this project, I opened up all the tops of the milk cartons and rinsed them one more time. Originally, I thought each kid would make a haunted house using one milk carton (like the house on the right up above), but you know how kids are–they have WAY better ideas than I ever do.
- Students started building and designing their haunted house however they wanted to. They, of course, wanted to build multi-level haunted houses. I had a TON of milk cartons, so that was a great idea!
- Then they used masking tape to hold everything together as they were designing.
- Once they had their house designed, they started covering their milk cartons–er, I mean haunted houses, with paper. I didn’t require them to do this any particular way. I was more interested in letting them “solve” the problem of how to cover the house.
Not all kids were successful in creating a “perfect” haunted house–but so what? It’s a haunted house! I wanted them to think for themselves and not rely on me to tell them exactly how to cover their house. I also hoped they would work together to figure out the best way…many kids did!
Some students measured the house and measured paper, and glued it on. Some wrapped the house in the paper…all kids solved it their own way–perfect! Once the house was covered, then students added details like windows and doors from scrap construction paper.
Students were completely engaged in this project and truly enjoyed taking something they use every day, their milk carton, and transforming it into something completely new. That’s the beauty of art!
7. Halloween Art Lessons: Brown Paper Bag Haunted Houses
Materials: Brown paper bags, a mix of colored construction paper, scissors, glue, shredded paper, markers, crayons, and pencils.
My second-grade students love how easy and fun this project is. I provided students with an assortment of construction paper and very little “how-to,” so they would dream up their designs (just like on the milk carton haunted houses). Each student got one brown paper bag and was asked to design a haunted house.
Brown Paper Bag Haunted House How-To
- First, students designed the front of their bag, and then I showed them how to flip the bag over and fold the flap so they could design the back of the house (if you don’t show them, they’ll draw on the flat, which later becomes the bottom of the house).
- Once windows and doors were glued on and other decorations were added, we opened the bag and filled it with shredded paper.
- An easy place to get the shredded paper is from your front office. They often shred materials and have more shredded paper than they know what to do with. You might give them a little heads up that you’d like them to save you the next bag of shredding.
- Finally, use a piece of construction paper and staple it to the top to create the roof and seal the bag.
The kids loved the playfulness of this project, and so did I. However, the best part had to be the end when we lined up all the houses on the floor to see. I loved watching the kids sit by them and look at them. I felt like I was standing at an art gallery watching the people “experience” the art. My second graders would just come, sit down and “look” at all the work and notice all the fine details kids came up with!
Variation: If students needed trick-or-treat bags, you could leave the roof off, leave out the paper shredding, and add strings to the bag so they could use them on Halloween to receive their goodies.
8. Halloween Art Lessons: Haunted House Classroom Door Poster and Fall Stacked Pumpkin Collaboration Poster.
I wanted to design something that would make your life as a teacher easy for Halloween. I know teachers love the “idea” of decorating their doors for holidays, but the thought of actually coming up with an idea, gathering the supplies, and then making the door often gets marked off the “to-do” list before it’s created or never even makes it on the list.
This project is very easy for the teacher and allows all the kids in your class to be involved. This poster is a product available in my TPT store. In this project, the kids will color the pieces, cut them out, add their faces to the windows (which makes it extra fun), and then put the poster together and hang it up! This makes for a great classroom cooperative activity. There are 30 places to add kid faces, but if you don’t have that many students (hallelujah !!!), Have the kids color the blank windows yellow.
Take a look at this detail…
I’ve left room for kick plates at the bottom of your door and soft-close hinges at the top. If you want the entire door to be covered, use butcher paper to cover the door and add the poster to the paper. Once the poster is up, cut around the doorknob and be the envy of your hallway!
Click HERE to view my Halloween door poster on TPT.
Teachers have loved my Halloween door poster so much that I made another one for Fall or Halloween.
You can find my Fall door poster in my TPT store HERE.
9. Halloween Art Lessons: Fall, Halloween & Thanksgiving Agamographs
Materials: Crayons, colored pencils or markers, copy paper, rulers, agamograph templates, and video.
This product has all the templates you need and a complete 4-minute how-to video that you can use to teach your students how to create the agamographs—let me do the teaching for you! You can find it HERE.
10. Halloween Art Lesson: Student “Selfies” in Costume
Materials: Halloween selfie resource, crayons, markers or colored pencils, scissors, and pencils.
Kids love selfies. Teachers love selfies. Everyone loves selfies these days (or so it seems). In art, we’ve been in love with selfies for years and years. We always call them “self-portraits.” I set out to teach my students about self-portraits with the popular buzzword “selfie,” and what better time to play with this idea than Halloween?!
Kids have so much fun making up these pictures. Have your students draw a self-portrait as if they were dressed in their Halloween costumes. When their drawings are finished, they make a perfect bulletin board display.
The resource for this project is in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and it comes with a PowerPoint that features famous artist self-portraits on smartphones and text message writing prompts.
You can check out my selfie resource here for more details.
11. Halloween Art Lessons: Art Escape: “The Scream”
Materials: Copy paper, colored copy paper (optional), file folders or large envelopes (optional), pencils, glue, scissors, crayons/colored pencils/markers, and the complete teaching lesson.
Infusing your classroom with art shouldn’t make you want to SCREAM… or should it?? Learning is about to get really fun with this escape-room-like challenge. That’s because this resource combines puzzles, learning, and art! The lesson begins when students learn about an art heist—in this case, Edvard Munch’s Halloween-esque “The Scream.”
As art detectives, they’ll need to work together to solve 5 creative challenges. Each challenge will have them learning more about the stolen piece of art and practicing critical READING skills. If they can crack the case, they might get their hands on the masterpiece!
See it on TPT HERE.
12. Halloween Art Lessons: Pumpkin Pinch Pots
Materials: Kiln-dry clay or air-dry clay, orange paint (or glaze), and various clay tools.
Pinch pots are the easiest of all the clay projects. You take a ball of clay and then “pinch it” to make an opening. Use this technique with kids during Halloween to make small little pumpkins. You can use air-dry clay if you are a classroom teacher without access to a kiln. Or art teachers can use kiln fire clay. Or, the best of both worlds, classroom teachers and art teachers can collaborate to make these cute little pumpkins!
Clay Pumpkin Pinch Pots Steps
- Step #1: First, roll a ball of clay and then take off about 1/3 of it. Next, roll both portions of clay into balls. Then, with the larger ball (this will be the base of the pumpkin), put your two thumbs on the top of the clay and then push your thumbs into the clay, thereby “pinching” the clay between your thumb and fingers on both hands. Finally, use your fingers to work the clay into the right size and opening you would like
- Step #2: Use 1/3 of the clay that you set aside for the top. You can do one of two things. Either create a flat top with a stem coming from it or create a smaller pinch pot that fits onto the bottom of the pumpkin. Play with both shapes to be sure they match and fit together.
- Step #3: For this step, you will want to add details and texture to the pumpkin. Using a skewer, you can etch lines into the clay. You can even create eyes, nose, and mouth if you are more interested in a jack-o-lantern design. If you use kiln fire clay, you will want to let the top and bottom dry separately so the two pieces don’t get stuck together). Make sure kids have put their initials on the bottom of both pieces. I love seeing an entire classroom set of clay pieces like this…
- Step #4: Fire the kiln fire clay. Do so after letting the pieces dry to leather hard. Or let the air-dry clay dry per instructions on the container.
- Step #5: Next, decorate the pumpkins using acrylic paint for both kiln-dry and air-dry clay. If you have access to beautiful glazes, then go that route. Be sure to use the little pointed stilts for the glazed pieces; you’ll need to keep the bottom free of glaze. Without those stilts, the glazed pumpkins will stick to the kiln shelf.
I recommend that you use pointed stilts so you can glaze the pieces on all sides. They are pictured above. Place them in your kiln with the clay piece on top. Then, after the pumpkins are fired, the clay pumpkins will pop off the metal stilts. The finished products are stunning.
13. Halloween Art Lessons: Pop Art Halloween Math Coloring Sheets
Materials: Handouts, crayons, colored pencils or markers, and copy paper.
I have so enjoyed using these math sheets with my students. The set reviews addition up to 20, subtraction from 25, and all times table with the multiplication and division sheets. Kids can’t easily guess the answers since the images are Pop Art and don’t necessarily have to be one color or another. The kids will eventually realize that small areas make patterns. But by the time they figure it out, they’ve usually worked through most of the page by then.
Whew! That’s it! If you made it this far, thank you!! I hope you found many “treats” to get you through the next month (or the next few years!).
Thanks for reading and for making art with your students!