There are so many Halloween picture books for kids that are great mentor texts for young writers. Engaging students through picture books strengthens their writing by providing models of how to write narratives that include descriptive details and interesting word choices.
While one of these books is most definitely a Halloween picture book, the other two do not mention Halloween at all. They would be good options for classrooms who can not mention Halloween directly. They are perfect for October mentor texts or really at any time of year.
In my classroom, I always started the year teaching my students how to write narratives. This form of writing was then practiced throughout the year in class and as homework through our Paragraph of the Week routines. By giving the students the opportunity to regularly put into practice the elements we observed through the mentor text read alouds, their writing consistently improved throughout the year and I had an extremely easy way to document their progress over time.
This post spotlights 3 of the best Halloween picture books for teaching writing to elementary students:
3 Halloween Picture Books for Kids
Here are three Halloween picture books that are great for teaching writing during the month of October:
1. Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld
One of my favorite books for modeling narrative writing has long been Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld. Not only is it funny and engaging, but the author’s use of voice is outstanding.
The artwork from different perspectives are great examples for young authors who are learning to write and illustrate their own work.
This Halloween picture book is also useful for focusing on identifying character traits and using text-based evidence to support student thinking. The character traits activity shown in the photo above is available for you to download and use with any Halloween book in my free Halloween Graphic Organizers resource.
2. I Need my Monster by Amanda Knoll
A wonderful mentor text to use that has no mention of Halloween is I Need My Monster by Amanda Knoll. Although a picture book, it has rich language and introduces suspense.
This is a great book for practicing summarizing. Have your students complete a story summary sheet based on the book and then have them fill in their own story summary sheet as a prewriting activity for composing their own writing sample. I have created several graphic organizers to help students with their writing you may want to check out. If you haven’t already read this Halloween picture book, you must check it out!
3. Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
Finally, I want to spotlight Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds. This is another book that is not a Halloween book, but does work really well as an October read aloud. I originally used this book in the spring as part of a large science unit focused on the life cycle of plants. I started to use it in the fall when we focused on reading and writing mystery books because of the author’s use of suspense in his writing. It was always a favorite text!
As readers, I had them practice making predictions throughout the story and also used the book for identifying cause and effect in a text. The illustrations in this book are interesting and different so they also serve as a great model for those budding authors and illustrators in your room. If you haven’t read this Halloween picture book, then you must check this one out as well!
Other Halloween Resources for Teachers
Teaching Resources referenced in this blog post include:
- Paragraph of the Week: Weekly Writing for the Entire Year
- The Mystery Genre: A Reading and Writing Unit
- The Life Cycle of Plants
- Graphic Organizers to Improve Student Writing
You May Also be Interested in:
- Halloween Books for Kids post
- The Pumpkin Book Report
- Haunted House for Sale – A Descriptive Writing Project
- Opinion Writing Paragraph of the Week
- Informative Writing Paragraph of the Week
- Narrative Writing Paragraph of the Week
- Genre Posters and Activities
- I Need My Monster book companion
- Creepy Carrots book companion