Secondary Smorgasbord: Writing a Scary Story - Room 213

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Secondary Smorgasbord: Writing a Scary Story

It's the middle of October already and the signs are everywhere: pumpkin-lined door steps, candy displays at the grocery store, and students who are starting to slip into the doldrums.  The honeymoon is over and any back to school energy has been used up.

I've decided to wake up my students with a creative writing assignment that will allow them to work on the skills I want them to learn AND have a little spooky fun.  We are going to explore the elements of good fiction, make connections to the novels they are reading for reader's workshop, and then they will write their own scary short story.

The first step is, of course, to set the scene.  I've searched youtube for short clips that are appropriate for high school and not too scary for those students who are wimps like me.  I'm going to show each of them and ask students to respond to the following questions: Which elements of the story create suspense?  Is the video scary?  Why or why not?  What improvements would you suggest?

After I get their heads in my scary little game, I will give them this graphic organizer to help them start planning their own story.  You can grab it for free in my store by clicking the link.

Once the plans are in place we will be using learning stations to guide them through the creative process.  I'll keep you posted on all of the scary details!


  1. Oh my gosh... your Scary Story Freebie and these videos are fabulous. I went directly to your Halloween Creative Writing & Learning Stations product to find more materials like these.

  2. I don't know about the kids, but it scares the bejeezus out of me! I bet they love this!

  3. I love incorporating video clips in my classroom, also. Great ideas!

  4. I love this! Thank you!

  5. Fun idea for the month. I was so afraid of Freddie, so I would have been terrified and filled with plenty of writing inspiration after each clip!

  6. What a fun idea to use the video clips!! My students will love this!

  7. Oh my gosh...these videos are amazing! My kids will love them! And thank you for reminding me to check under the bed.
    This idea, paired with your graphic organizer, will be a huge hit!

  8. Love using videos in the classroom! Thanks!

  9. Thanks for the great video clips! This is perfect for me as we work on the writing process in my learning strategies class!

    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle


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