tales of the supernatural

 In Emotional Intelligence Speaking Activities for ESL classrooms

This graded reader could not be more appropriate for October 31st as a «reading for pleasure» activity.


  • Prepare the class in advance with candles and treats scattered all over the desks, which will have been set in a circle where students can face each other.
  • Explain the students will be reading passages of their choice out loud, and sharing reasons for their choice. For instance, I have chosen this paragraph from «Irish Rose» because I loved its ending which I found totally unpredictable.
  • While they are reading, a tray with candies and chocolates circulates around for the students to pick treats.
  • When all have participated they can choose which passages read made the story most exciting, following pronunciation, intonation and rhythm criteria provided.
  • The best story read will receive a special treat.
  • And if one of your students does face-painting the group picture will certainly look its best!


The «real» meaning of Trick or Treat is learnt during the lesson


Here is how the second option is organised:

  • To prepare for the actual task in-class, divide the class into small groups some time in advance and assign one different chapter for each group to read.
  • Ask the students to read the story whilst listening to the audio book to improve pronunciation.
  • On 31st October invite students to sit in mixed groups where every person will have read a different chapter. Students take turns to re-tell the story that they have each read. Some Q&A time can be set after each «Monologue».
  • At the end of the session all kinds of spooky stories with unexpected endings will have been heard and the contents of the book will have been learnt.
  • While the students are telling / listening to the «tales of the supernatural» the face-painting stand will be welcoming those who would like to leave the classroom at the end of the session with Halloween symbols created by their make-up artist classmate.



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