History of Halloween

Many people celebrate Halloween by carving pumpkins into scary faces, bobbing for apples, dressing up as their favorite characters, and tromping through neighborhoods collecting candy instead of doling out tricks. And it's so much fun, right? However, most people don't really know how Halloween actually began, and that is why I decided to create a lesson where my students learn about the origins of Halloween  Because it has certainly evolved since its beginning. 

Teachers and students will learn about the history of Halloween in the activity, but here is a little introduction for you: Halloween actually began as an ancient Celtric festival called Sahmain. This festival occurred the night before their New Year (November 1st) and marked the end of summer and beginning of harvest. In Celtric tradition, the ghosts of the dead are said to appear on the last night of the year. Celts would light large bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts, a tradition which has lasted long into today’s celebration of All Hallow’s Eve. 

In the 700s, Pope Gregory III declared November 1st as All Saints Day, which true to its name, is a day to celebrate all of the saints. The day before, Sahmain, became known as All Hallows Eve, or Halloween.

From there, Halloween began its evolution into what we now know and celebrate. 

Because everyone loves Halloween, including myself, I created a resource that helps teachers teach the History of Halloween in a fun and engaging way that requires absolutely little-to-no preparation. {That’s my favorite part!} 

In this activity, students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of engaging activities all centered around learning about Halloween including: 

  • Video Introduction

  • Research Activity {Don’t worry! The texts are already provided!}

  • Summary Paragraph Writing Practice

  • Finding Evidence to Support Key Ideas

  • Introduction, Exploration, and Analysis of a Primary Source

  • Fun Annotating Activity

This resource is such a great way to tie in content and history into one lesson. Not only that, but it also is great for both in-person and remote learners, even in a hybrid setting. Use just one or two of the activities, or all five! Like all of my products, this one includes both a digital copy with a Google Drive Link, and a PDF for a paper option. 

Upon purchase, you will receive a link that takes you right to Google Drive and prompts you to make a copy. {That way you can save it to your personal Drive and use it over and over!} If you’re assigning this through Google Classroom, you can easily create an assignment and attach the Google Slides file. {Make sure you select “Each student gets a copy”!}

I really hope you and your students enjoy learning about Halloween as much as it is fun to celebrate it! 

  • If you’re just interested in the digital version, you can purchase that here.

  • If you’re looking for a SUPER bundle of TONS more holiday activities {both digital and paper} for October, click here

  • And if you’re looking for a full year of holiday resources for every month, click here

  This Day in History | Daily Check In Activity The beginning of a class is easily the most important time in a class for both teachers and ...