Pumpkin and Ghost Garland

Pumpkin and Ghost Garland lesson plan

How to decorate for Halloween? Why not make a cool, spooky garland featuring your favorite scary story characters!

  • 1.

    Read several Halloween books—mysteries, funny stories, or other tales. First in a small group, and then with the whole class, discuss your favorites. Decide which story elements are present in all of these tales. List and compare the characters and settings. Make a festive garland that depicts the characters and setting in your favorite story.

  • 2.

    Use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to color small paper plates orange for jack-o’-lanterns. Create funny faces by erasing shapes to form eyes and other features. Outline or fill in the shapes with another color. Color other plates black. Erase parts of them to create spooky ghosts or witches. Color more plates red. Erase them to weave delicate spider webs.

  • 3.

    Cut paper plates to make a tiny Boo banner, crescent moon, stems, leaves, twirly vines, or other Halloween symbols. Decorate them. If you wish, make cutouts in your plates so you can suspend tiny decorations inside with thread. Attach your cutouts with Crayola Glue Sticks.

  • 4.

    Punch holes in your plates. String your Halloween characters on a colorful ribbon. Hang the garland on a door frame, your desk, or in a hallway.


  • Students read and then compare and contrast characters and settings found in Halloween stories.
  • Students choose a favorite story and then design and create a decorative garland representing the characters and setting elements found in the story.
  • Students display their garlands.


  • Younger students can use their math skills to create patterned garlands using various sizes of jack-o’-lanterns or other figures. Ask students to orally explain their patterns, i.e., big, big, little, big, big, little; or AAB, AAB. ]
  • Use the same lesson format to celebrate other holidays and seasons by creating garlands depicting favorite songs as well as books or stories.
  • Assessment: Students match Halloween story titles with classmates’ garlands. Place an envelope and paper strips beneath each garland. Students jot down the story title they think most closely matches each garland, sign their names, and place the slip in the envelope. The student with the most correct matches could pick the read-aloud story for the next day. Challenge garland artists to verbally explain their choices of characters and setting symbols, and ask game participants to defend their matches.