October’s Charms: Exploring Festivities and Cultural Observances with Kids!


October heralds a kaleidoscope of vibrant celebrations and cultural acknowledgments! From global observances to traditional festivities, this month offers an array of enriching experiences for young minds. Let’s embark on an illuminating journey through the wonders of October together!

Embracing October’s Diversity

Engaging Activities

Halloween: Explore the history and traditions of Halloween. Engage in costume-making, pumpkin carving, spooky storytelling, or learning about folklore.

Hispanic Heritage Month (Ends in October): Celebrate the rich cultural tapestry of Hispanic heritage. Engage in discussions, art projects, or explore influential Hispanic figures.

World Teachers’ Day: Honor educators and their invaluable contributions. Encourage appreciation activities, create thank-you cards, or discuss the importance of education.

Oktoberfest (Varies): Discover the traditions and culture of Oktoberfest. Engage in cultural activities, learn about German traditions, or explore music and dance.

What can you do with these printables?

These are some suggestions:

  • Talk about each special day
  • Have students do a blog about it
  • Organise a writing competition
  • Get students to write a song or rap about it
  • Do a role-play about it
  • Have students design a poster about it
  • Watch a video about it
  • Display a quiz about it
  • Go to a museum about it
  • Create a reading list about it
  • Research more about it online

Special dates:

Chinese Moon Festival

2- World Smile Day

4- Oktober Fest ends

5- World Teachers Day

8- Yom Kippur, date varies

9- Fire Prevention Day

9- Leif Erikson

12- Old Farmer’s Day

12- Columbus

13- Sukkot, date varies

16- Dictionary Day

24- United Nations Day

27- Black Cat Day

30- National Candy Corn Day

31- Carve a Pumpkin Day

31- Halloween

Month Celebrations:

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

Apple Jack Month

Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Computer Learning Month

Cookie Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Eat Country Ham Month

International Drum Month

National Diabetes Month

National Pizza Month

National Vegetarian Month

National Popcorn Popping Month

Seafood Month


Here's a list of engaging read-aloud books perfect for young learners in October:

"Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson: Follow a friendly witch and her cat as they pick up some unexpected hitchhikers during their broomstick ride. Grab more ideas here

"The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda Williams: A fun and slightly spooky tale about a little old lady who encounters various Halloween-themed items that come to life. 

"Pumpkin Jack" by Will Hubbell: Follow the life cycle of a pumpkin from seed to decomposition, a great book to discuss the changing seasons and life cycles.

"Big Pumpkin" by Erica Silverman: A story about a witch who tries to pick a big pumpkin and needs the help of some unexpected friends.

"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak: Join Max as he sails to a faraway land and meets the Wild Things, a classic story about imagination and adventure.  

"The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree" by Stan and Jan Berenstain: A book about three little bears who explore a spooky old tree, great for Halloween excitement.

"Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich" by Adam Rex: A humorous collection of poems about classic monsters dealing with everyday issues.

"Stellaluna" by Janell Cannon: Follow the adventures of Stellaluna, a bat raised by birds, perfect for discussions about friendship and differences.  
These books cover themes of Halloween, autumn, friendship, and imagination, providing ample opportunities for discussions, vocabulary building, and imaginative storytelling for young learners in October. Enjoy sharing these delightful stories with your students!

Themes to teach during October

October presents a range of thematic opportunities for ESL classes. Here are some engaging themes that could be relevant and interesting for ESL learners during this month:

Halloween: Exploring vocabulary related to Halloween, discussing traditions, costumes, and spooky stories.  Grab more ideas here

Fall/Autumn: Continuing discussions on vocabulary related to the changing season, exploring nature, and fall-related activities.  Grab more ideas here

Cultural Celebrations: Learning about various cultural celebrations that occur in October, such as Diwali or Oktoberfest, and comparing traditions.  Grab more ideas here

Animals and Habitats: Exploring animals preparing for winter, migration, hibernation, and discussing different animal habitats.  Grab more ideas here

Food and Harvest: Exploring vocabulary related to harvest, discussing seasonal fruits and vegetables, and traditional autumnal dishes.  Grab more ideas here

Literature and Storytelling: Engaging in storytelling activities, discussing favorite spooky or autumn-themed books, and exploring storytelling techniques.  Grab more ideas here

Health and Wellness: Focusing on health-related vocabulary, discussing staying healthy in colder weather, and self-care routines.  Grab more ideas here

Creativity and Arts: Exploring art projects related to autumn or Halloween, discussing creative expression through crafts or drawings. Grab more ideas here

These themes offer ample opportunities for vocabulary expansion, cultural understanding, discussions on seasonal changes, and language practice within an ESL classroom. Tailor these themes to suit the language proficiency level and interests of your students for a more engaging learning experience.

October boasts a variety of vibrant cultural celebrations worldwide:

Diwali (India and other South Asian countries): Also known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Celebrated with colorful decorations, lighting oil lamps (diyas), fireworks, exchanging sweets, and performing rituals.

Chuseok (South Korea): While Chuseok starts in September, its celebrations can extend into early October. It's a major harvest festival celebrated with ancestral rituals, traditional dances (Ganggangsullae), and sharing special foods like songpyeon (rice cakes).

Oktoberfest (Germany and various other countries): Oktoberfest usually starts in late September and spills into October. It's a renowned beer festival featuring music, traditional German food, parades, and, of course, copious amounts of beer served in massive tents.

Halloween (Global, especially in the USA, Canada, Ireland, and the UK): While originating from Celtic traditions, Halloween is now celebrated worldwide. It involves dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, parties, haunted houses, and carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns.

National Day (China): Celebrated on October 1st, China's National Day marks the founding of the People's Republic of China. The holiday involves grand parades, cultural performances, fireworks, and celebrations across the country.

Day of the Dead (Mexico and Latin America): Known as Día de los Muertos, this multi-day celebration honors deceased loved ones with colorful altars, marigolds, sugar skulls, food offerings, and visits to cemeteries to remember and celebrate the lives of the departed.

Sukkot (Jewish Holiday): Also called the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot is a Jewish holiday involving the building of temporary shelters (sukkahs) and gatherings for meals, prayers, and festivities.

These diverse celebrations in October highlight the richness of global cultures, offering insights into traditions, beliefs, and customs cherished by different communities around the world. Each celebration carries its unique significance and provides an opportunity for people to come together, celebrate, and honor their heritage.

Let's make this October a time of creativity, cultural appreciation, appreciation for educators, and celebration in our ESL classroom! Embrace diversity, celebrate traditions, and honor the contributions of educators.

How do you plan to celebrate these significant days in your classroom? Share your ideas below, and let's create a vibrant learning community together!

Happy October!

No comments

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!