Halloween Vocabulary Parade

By Angela Bunyi on October 28, 2009
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

If you are looking for a neat activity to do during Halloween that allows your students to dress up AND learn unique vocabulary words in the process, look no further.

NOTE: The following post is a reprint from October 2008.

My school holds an annual character book parade on Halloween. The premise sounds great — kids dress up like characters from a book — but something smelled fishy to me last year. Noticing that this was still a Halloween parade with a strained tie to some book, I knew we could create a stronger tribute for bibliophiles one and all. Thanks to Debra Frasier, author of Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster, we found a solution that is fun, cheap, and involves everyone!

Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster by Debra Frasier


An excerpt from her Web site:  " . . . a hilarious romp through the usually not-so-funny world of vocabulary. Sage misses school due to a cold and from there the misunderstanding begins. But 'miscellaneous' is finally revealed for the word it truly is, and Sage manages to redeem herself in a marvelous and inspiring creative leap."


The Premise of a Word Parade


Dress up like a vocabulary word and create a word parade with your class or school. It's as simple as that. Some construction paper and string can get you from start to finish in no time. Here is a simple example:


Take two longer rectangular pieces of construction paper. Punch holes at the top. Loop together and hang around your neck. Write the word "parallel" on each strip. Done.

Price: Free!

Educational Value: Priceless!

The beauty of this project is that:

1) it can be completed anytime of year. Halloween is an easy place to plug this in.

2) it can tie into Halloween costumes. Ex., a gruesome or ghastly character.

3) students learn new words from each other.

4) it gives all children a chance to participate. Last year, half my class dressed up, and the other half didn't. This year, all but one student did.

5) it is academically focused.

Show Not Tell

It is easier for me to show you than to tell you. Here are some of the examples we found on Debra Frasier's site and in our classroom.


Wrapping It Up

When we returned to the classroom, each student shared his or her outfit and we talked about the meaning.  After going around the room, we voted on our top three favorite costumes. Our winners are shown below, about halfway down (inflame, disheveled, and condensation).

Here are the pictures from today's parade:












Mrs. Myers is "orbit" by using a Hula-Hoop with hanging planets. I was the "luminous" sun with a long orange dress (complete with orange high heels), ray hands and head, and a battery operated light bulb.


Bonus: Me with Eli this evening (the high heels didn't make the second round). 

View a list of my blogs, articles, and lesson/unit plans from last year.


This is a great idea. Now I know what I want to be for Halloween; a hypochondriac. I'm sure some teachers will be offended but so what!! lol

I do not see the website posted re: this activity. I see a name and a title of a book. But where do I find the website? I would love to look at the vocabulary. Thanks Jessica

Hello Lindsay,

I am sorry for the late reply. I honestly responded, but it just didn't post for some reason.

The good news is that I have my year at a glance on my latest post. It includes my curriculum in all areas, writing included.

Specifically, we are using Lucy Calkins, Katie Wood Ray, Lester Laminack, and Ralph Fletcher to guide our writing this year.

Hope that helps,


love this idea! - I've always wanted to try something like this!


ps. I noticed on your main classroom website that you have a broken link for Writer's Workshop Year-Long Overview.. . . . is this still available?

Hey Josh,

If you visit Debra Frasier's website (listed above), she has a photo slide show of examples and a print-out of possibilities. I provided both of these resources for my parents.

And you are right...it was a lot of fun!




This is a great idea and it's evident that the kids enjoyed it. How did you select the words for your parade? Did they all come from the book or did the students select an unfamiliar word?



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