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HELBLING READERS BLOG

HELBLING READERS BLOG

Halloween-inspired writing lessons

August 01, 2019 by Nora Nagy

There’s no denying it, Halloween has a special atmosphere, whether or not it is part of your cultural heritage. What’s more, it has its place in the English class and our students love the idea of Halloween parties and scary stories.

Use this opportunity to have some fun writing lessons built around spooky readers. We have two different activities you can start with. The activities are aimed at B1 level students, and you can adjust  them according to the language level and interests of your students.

The Headless Horseman in the Helbling reader adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. Illustration by Giuseppe Palumbo.

Solve the story puzzle

We have mixed passages from three different stories. Ask your students to identify the different paragraphs and find logical connections between some of them. They can look for semantic, syntactic and stylistic clues, or simply study the characters and the setting described in the passages.

First liners

First lines should be easy and intriguing at the same time so that they make us want to read more. Use our collection of dark and scary opening lines from classic novels to learn about the mechanism and importance of great opening sentences.

  1. Download the workshop and read the lines in pairs.
  2. Discuss in pairs or groups of three which one interests you the most.
  3. Give reasons for choosing your lines.  
  4. Guess which novel they come from. Scroll to the bottom of this page for  a list of possible novels.
  5. Now write a paragraph to continue the story. What happens next?
  6. Read the original story and compare the first paragraph with your version.

First pages

Read the first pages of each Helbling Reader adaptation to see how the stories continue.

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