I really dislike Halloween at school. It’s a candy crazed day where the kids are in costumes and not paying attention to anything. I’m really glad that at our school we don’t celebrate Halloween. But we do still have a learning celebration, and around this time of year we are learning about Ancient Rome. So instead of dressing up for Halloween, we dress up as ancient Romans (3rd grade toga party!) So it’s not Halloween, but it still is usually a chaotic day. That is, it was chaotic until we decided to embrace the chaos and teach like pirates and go all in!
We have a new teacher on our third grade team this year, Jason. He has a history background so we gave him this unit and this day and he ran with it! We planned activities all day long.
First thing in the morning we did our normal social studies lesson about Pompeii. We read textbook pages, took notes, and watched a few short videos. This one is really cool.
After that we built our own city of Pompeii.
Then the kids created comic strips of what happened when Mount Vesuvius erupted. While they were doing that I pulled kids and did interviews pretending as though they had escaped from Pompeii in time.
Then we erupted a paper mache volcano and filmed it from multiple angles.
Then the highlight of the day; running for our lives! We got all hundred third graders together on the playground, we had them run and scream as though Mount Vesuvius was exploding right behind them. It was so much fun!
The rest of the afternoon was the tradition holiday “party” part. We had apple juice, grapes, cheese and crackers. I took pictures of this as our “before Vesuvius erupted.” And we also made paper mosaic art.
Because we were doing different fun activities all day, the kids were not that crazy at all! I think it was my best ever Halloween as a teacher! 🙂
Finally, Jason put all of our pictures and videos into one epic third grade adventure video. It’s amazing!