My school’s hallways are abuzz this week with the creepy clown ridiculousness that’s sweeping America and now, it seems, the U.K.

Always looking for a way to hook students’ attention and pull them into weightier thinking, I’m going to use their current clown obsession as the springboard into a deeper discussion about the nature of fear. Just in time for Halloween, I’ve run my photocopies for a non-fiction lesson where we’ll dive deep into The Atlantic’s interview with Dr. Margee Kerr, a “scare specialist” who explains why some people enjoy being afraid. At first, I was going to use this lesson only with my sophomores, but given the current clown climate I’m thinking my freshmen and juniors will also have a lot to say about this topic.

Ifearfactorf you want to see more of this print-and-go lesson, just click here.

Need more materials to add rigor to your Halloween lesson plans?

Check out this lesson for “The Feather Pillow,” a truly creepy story by Horatio Quiroga, a master of suspense who will forever change the way our students look at their pillows and mattresses.

Or have some creative fun with Micro-Fiction, where students write two-sentence stories in four genres – drama, romance, sci fi, and (of course!) horror.

Teach on, everyone.

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Laura, what program/software do you use to make your handouts? They always look neat, student-friendly, and fantastic!

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  2. Ah, thanks so much, Kristen. Glad you like the look! I mostly stick with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign for my handouts. A bit of a learning curve comes with those programs, but I love the design flexibility they offer. Thanks for asking! 🙂

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  3. Hi there!

    As usual, this is brilliant! I’ve already added this to my “favorites” list. And you know what? I was born in Uruguay, so this was like sooooo cool!!! Talk of a small world!

    I hadn’t heard a thing about that freaky clown “ridiculousness,” as you called it so rightly, until now. Mentioned it to my son and, of course, he knew all about it. Ugh! What is it with everyone? Horrible, just hope they get over this fad quickly! Pokémon has already dwindled down here!

    Once again, thanks for yet more fantastic resources!

    PS – That position at the nearby HS didn’t pulled through… 😦 Turns out the political side of it wanted that the teacher to be hired hold a certain degree I don’t have. Maybe next time!

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  4. Well, it’s their loss, Carolyn. The right job will emerge at the right time; that’s how it always seems to go. And, yes, I wasn’t sad to see Pokémon fade so quickly. (Double-negatives allowed when talking about Pokémon.)

    Happy (almost) Halloween!

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  5. Ugh! Freaking out at some of my mistakes on that post! What was I thinking!? “didn’t pulled”?? “wanted that the teacher”??? ARGH! Please forgive me! Must’ve been the late night and the constant mix of languages in my head! Thinking in one, writing in another……! 😮

    A good fright for Halloween! hahaha

    Let’s get serious here: thanks for your words. Disappointed with all this, but as you said, the right one will come at the right time!

    Happy Halloween!

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  6. Of course, Carolyn! And, if it makes you feel any better, I didn’t even notice the syntax. Too much work. Not. Enough. Sleep. 🙂

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  7. Outstanding! Throwing this article in with my “War of the Worlds” literature-in-media, media-causing-mass-chaos, Halloween-ie-goodness! Thanks!

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  8. Oooh, Andrea, this sounds good! Throw in some Monsters Are Due on Maple Street and you’re working a nice mini-unit. 🙂

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fun stuff, high school English, informational text, non-fiction, print and teach, reading, Uncategorized

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