Friday, October 5, 2012

Ghosts In The Graveyard (New and Revised)

It's hard to believe, but October is already here and even though we are still dealing with temperatures in the 90's here in South Texas, it is time to start planning for my favorite activity of the entire year.

Ghosts in the Graveyard is an activity that I use every Halloween to review concepts I've taught since the beginning of school.  The activity has proven so popular that I've also had to create games to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I've also had wonderful feedback from readers who've tried this activity in their classroom with great success. 

If you want to try it in your classroom, it is time to start planning now, because it will take you a little time to get it all together.  The main preparation is developing your ghost problem cards, getting them laminated, and then cutting out the little ghosts. 

Materials you will need

8-10 problem cards (I will provide you with a template)
4 Tombstones that you will draw and hang up on your board
About 50 little ghosts for each class (template provided)
Answer Sheet for each student
Answer Key

Objective:  Collect as many "little ghosts" as possible by working together as a group to complete a set of review problems.


1.  On each large ghost template, write or type 3 or 4 problems (I copy onto orange paper and laminate)

2.  Before each class hang up four tombstones at the front of the room

3.  Place students in groups of 3-4 and give each student an answer sheet to record their work

4.  Pass out a problem card to each group and place the extra cards at the front of the room

5.  Students work together to complete the problems on their card and then call you over when they are finished to check their answers.  If all three problems are correct (and every single person has worked the problem) I give them a "little ghost" which they write their group number on and place on one of the tombstones at the front of the room.  They can place all their "little ghosts" on the same tombstone or they can split them up.

6.  After finishing their first card, they go pick up another card and begin working on it with the goal of collecting as many "little ghosts" as possible.

7.   About 10 minutes before the end of class, I call time and then the fun starts.

8.  What they don't know at the beginning of the class is that I have assigned a point value of each tombstone.  So Tombstone #1 might be worth 25 points, #3 might be worth 50 points etc. 

9.  To calculate the score, count the number of ghosts on each tombstone and multiply by the point value.

10.  The cool thing about this game is that the group that does the most problems doesn't necessarily win.  This is one of the few activities I do that the students will literally beg to do "One more problem"!

Get all the templates, instructions, and student answer sheet here


Alexis said...

I have stolen and modified this. I am not creative and never have time, so I do trash in the yard. Instead of headstones, I do 4 pieces of green construction paper. Those are the yards. Instead of ghosts I just use small squares of different colored construction paper. This is much faster and can be used any time of the year. The idea is the same and the kids love it. I also do prizes for each yard. For example, one might be 5 points on the test, 1 might be omit one on the test, one a sticker, and one is the void zone which is worth nothing. Less prep time, and still my kids favorite game of the year!

druin said...

Thanks so much for reposting this awesome game! I pinned it so I can find it in the future :)

MichelleB said...

This is awesome. I'm going to try this for Halloween.

Megan said...

Again I think that I'm going to steal this activity.... So far everything that I have used from this website have gone over very well in class.
Your activities are really helping my first year as a teacher run pretty smoothly :)
I am so thankful that I have found this blog and the Pinterest page :)

Anonymous said...

This is seriously amazing - and so much fun! I can't wait to use this with all of my classes! Thanks!

miami said...

This is much faster and can be used any season.I like the kinds very much!
Miami Dodge

Rafranz said...

I am in LOVE with your activities. Thanks so much for sharing along with the visuals. LOVE LOVE LOVE

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