K-5 Literacy

Creepy / Spooky 3rd Grade Literacy Activities

3rd graders are an interesting crowd. They still love a silly story, but they are just starting to get to the age where they are “too cool” for picture books and silly songs. Here is a lesson I did during October for two 3rd grade classes.


Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds
Okay, no one can resist this hilarious story. I’ve read it for preschool – 3rd grade and they all love it. I also like it because almost every page prompts a question: “What do you think he is going to do?” “Do you think that will work?”

Monster School by Kate Coombs
This is a great new book of poems about middle school monsters. I found it perfect for 3rd grade because it’s silly but intriguing and, believe it or not, relatable. I asked them a question and discussed answers before reading a few of the poems.

  • What do you think food at Monster School is like?
    Read “Cafeteria Food.”
  • What do you think the monsters do for homework?
    Read “Homework.”
  • Point to student with snakes for hair. See this monster girl? I wonder what monster school is like for her.
    Read “Hair Care.”
  • What about the teachers? What are they like at Monster School?
    Read “Compare and Contrast.”
  • What do you think it’s like to be a ghost at Monster School?
    Read “Ghost Girl’s Lament.”
  • Okay, one more student. Let’s see who the new kid is.
    Read “New Kid.”


One of my favorite storytime activities for older grades is practicing our story elements by creating our own stories. For this activity, we played with characters, setting, and plot to make spooky stories.

I made three boxes. One for each story element and put 8 flannel options inside. gif_1540173537
I called a student up and told them they were the main character.


Let’s see where you go! Choose from the setting box.

Let’s see who you meet there! Choose from the characters box.

And now, let’s see what happens! Choose from the plot box.


This storytime went great with the 3rd graders. They especially liked the spooky story elements activity. We did it several times with several students and they wanted to do it over and over! They also loved speculating about what monster school would be like. I plan to do this lesson again next week- hopefully it will go over just as well!


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