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A Halloween Lesson for ESL Learners Posted by on Oct 24, 2017 in Culture, English Vocabulary

Halloween is celebrated every year on October 31st. Many people in countries all over the world celebrate this holiday. Let’s learn some more about this spooky holiday in a Halloween lesson for ESL learners. There’s a reading activity, vocabulary, practice questions, and a video to follow along with.



I love dressing up for Halloween!

Many people like to wear a costume on Halloween. Some people just like to wear a mask. Here are some other common costumes: alien, ghost, monster, mummy, skeleton, vampire, werewolf, witch, zombie.


Image by RebeccaVC1 from flickr.com.

On Halloween, children love to go trick-or-treating. They dress up in a costume and go out with friends and parents. They walk around their neighborhood and knock on doors.

Image by Carissa Rogers from flickr.com.

People give them a treat, such as candy. Or, the children may play a trick, such as TP’ing a house.


A Halloween Lesson for ESL Learners

Image by Doggo from flickr.com.

Many people like to decorate their home for Halloween. Some people put decorations on the front lawn, while others decorate the inside of their house – even the bathroom. A common Halloween decoration is made with a pumpkin. You cut a face in the pumpkin and put a candle inside. This is called a jack-o-lantern. Some jack-o-lanterns are scary, while others are funny.

Other Activities

Image by Forsaken Fotos from flickr.com.

Around Halloween, some people like to go to a haunted house. This is a place where you can go to be frightened. Inside, people may grab you or chase you around. It can be very scary, so it might not be good for children.

You can also enjoy a haunted hayride. A big group can go on one together, and you may see some scary things. Of course, some people will try to freak you out.

Another fun thing to do for Halloween is walk through a corn maze. It’s a fun activity for families. Some of these can be very difficult, so you might get lost!

Image by Caleb Zahnd from flickr.com.

Having a party on Halloween is also very popular, especially for college students and young adults. Some common snacks include candy corn and candied apples, and people like to drink apple cider as well. A fun game you can play at a party is bobbing for apples. Try to get an apple out of the bucket with your mouth!


  • Halloween = a holiday celebrated on October 31st
  • costume = something special you wear
  • mask = something you wear to cover your face
  • trick-or-treating = when children go door-to-door on Halloween asking for treats
  • candy = something sweet to eat, such as chocolate bars or chewing gum
  • TP’ing a house = toilet papering a house; to cover a house and lawn with toilet paper
  • decorations = things you put in or around your house to make it look nice/festive
  • jack-o-lantern = a special light made from a pumpkin
  • haunted house/hayride = popular places to visit for Halloween that are scary
  • corn maze = a fun Halloween activity you need to escape from
  • bobbing for apples = a game where you get apples with your mouth


Image by aotaro from flickr.com.

Now that you’ve read about Halloween and learned some useful vocabulary, try to answer these questions:

  1. Do people celebrate Halloween in your country? What do they do? If not, is there a similar holiday?
  2. What costume do you want to wear for Halloween this year? Why?
  3. What’s your favorite kind of candy to eat?
  4. Would you like to visit a haunted house or haunted hayride? Why/why not?
  5. Do you think you could win at bobbing for apples? Does it look easy?


Practice your listening skills by following this video with the story you just read. Try to watch it a few times so you can read along to practice your pronunciation:

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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About the Author:sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.