5 spooky Halloween videos for students of all ages

Key points:

  • TED-Ed Lessons are a great way to inject some fun into learning a new topic
  • During October, take advantage of creepy decorations and Halloween and use these videos to teach students some new facts
  • See related article: 9 TED-Ed Lessons about different holiday origins

It’s October, and for many students, that means pumpkins, scary decorations, and trick-or-treating on Halloween. What better way to celebrate October than to incorporate some fun and spooky videos to engage students, while also teaching them some fun facts?

Teachers with students of all ages can use TED-Ed Lessons to leverage October’s fun events (Friday the 13th in October, anyone?) and speak to students’ different interests.

The TED-Ed platform lets educators build lessons around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or YouTube video. Once teachers find the video they want to use, they can use the TED-Ed Lessons editor to add questions, discussion prompts, and additional resources.

Use these TED-Ed Lessons and videos for brain breaks, to introduce new lessons, or to give students some fun and age-appropriate spooky experiences into your classroom:

1. Where do superstitions come from? Are you afraid of black cats? Would you open an umbrella indoors? How do you feel about the number 13? Whether or not you believe in them, you’re probably familiar with a few of these superstitions. But where did they come from? Stuart Vyse shares the weird and specific origins of some of our favorite superstitions.

2. Why is being scared so fun? At this very moment, people are lining up somewhere to scare themselves, be it with a thrill-ride or a horror movie. In fact, in October of 2015 alone, about 28 million people visited a haunted house in the US. But you might wonder: What could possibly be fun about being scared? Margee Kerr examines the biology and psychology behind what makes fear so fun.

3. The fascinating history of cemeteries: Spindly trees, rusted gates, crumbling stone, a solitary mourner: these things come to mind when we think of cemeteries. But not long ago, many burial grounds were lively places, with gardens and crowds of people — and for much of human history, we didn’t bury our dead at all. How did cemeteries become what they are today? Keith Eggener delves into our ever-evolving rituals for honoring the dead.

4. What can you learn from ancient skeletons? Ancient skeletons can tell us a great deal about the past, including the age, gender and even the social status of its former owner. But how can we know all of these details simply by examining some old, soil-caked bones? Farnaz Khatibi examines a fascinating branch of science known as biological anthropology.

5. A video that terrifies while it teaches? There’s a TED-Ed Lesson for that: Pick your poison: Blood hungry vampires. Zombies on a mission for your tasty brain. Creepy crawlies. No matter your (fictional or real) fright of choice, TED-Ed has a lesson for all of your Halloween needs. So pick out your favorite candy (more on that later), choose a few videos, and have a very happy Halloween.

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