HOCUS POCUS

When you are a teacher and you’ve seen it all, it takes more than a few dancing skeletons and a couple of ghosts to send shivers down your spine.

‘Shadows from the lamplight stole across her desk at midnight. There were still 23 essays to grade before tomorrow.’

Two Sentence Tales of Terror for Teachers*

If you have not prepared anything for Halloween yet, fear not. Here’s a simple, no-tech and no-prep hocus pokus idea to practise some Halloween-related words and phrases.

Step 1. Associations

Have your students brainstorm their associations with Halloween and board phrasal verbs that might be used (introduce them while discussing the associations).

Speak to X

Step 2. Show time

Ask each student to give one phrasal verb related to Halloween (get them to give it in a sentence). Write down a verb on a slip of paper/card and place it into a hat (or a bag). Write your prediction on a slip of paper and set it aside. Ask a volunteer to reach into the hat, randomly pull out a phrasal verb and read it aloud. When your prediction is opened and read, it turns out to be the very same verb. Tada, enjoy your diva moment!

* * *

How to perform the trick 

  • Write down the same verb on each card. When the first student calls out their phrasal verb, write it down. Keep writing it on every card even though students are giving a different verb each time. Put all the cards in a hat.
  • Make sure nobody is too close to you while you’re writing down the names, or they’ll see what you’re up to.
  • Put the remaining cards away immediately so your students won’t see how you did the trick.
  • You can agree to repeat the trick (e.g. with 10 nouns this time) but not more than once!

*Step 3. Follow-up

Get your students to make up a two-sentence horror story with the phrasal verbs. See here and here for some inspiration.

Have a spooktacular class!

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