Historical Halloween is a biographical research project where older elementary students choose a historical figure they’re interested in and extensively research their life and work.  They write up their findings, prepare an oral presentation and then dress up as their chosen figure and present what they’ve learned.

“For me,” writes Claire Lee, a WyEast 6th year, “Historical Halloween is something I look forward to every year.  It’s a really cool and unique project that everyone should get to try. This year my teacher, Ali, encouraged everyone to find a person who is not very well known.  

I learned from my classmates about the incredible people I have never heard of before. People such as Ynes Mexia, Wernher von Braun, Eddie Parrish, and Wangari Maathai.

The project includes a speech written as first-person narrative and a visual aid with a timeline of the person’s life. Usually, people dress up as their person when they do their final presentation in front of an audience.  This makes the entire project look really cool. I am really glad we get to do this project!”

This project is a great way to introduce expository writing and deep research, but it is about so much more.  It’s an opportunity for children to become familiar with the time, planning, dedication, and effort that a long-term project takes. 

“In my three years of doing Historical Halloween, it has helped me to learn how to balance my workload and to do bigger projects like this spring’s upcoming Ancestry Project,” says Dakota Devine, Mahonia 6th year. “I also like how much I’ve learned about history without realizing it.”

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