October Inquiry into Spooky Short Stories

Get Your Students Excited about Writing Their Own Spooky Short Stories!

Leverage the Halloween season by engaging students in reading that supports research- and standards-based multimodal writing activities throughout the month of October. Help students hone their language skills and writing craft.

October Inquiry Unit

October is the perfect time to tie the elements of fiction to an event that already sparks students' imaginations. Not only do students love spooky books and short stories, but they also love creating visual representations of their understandings, and using their imaginations in a social setting to create spooky stories. This is a unit that can get your class excited to read and write!

Meet Our Team

Dr. Chea Parton
Dr. Chea Parton

Owner and Founder
Literacy in Place

Parton has researched issues in rural literacy and education for almost 10 years.

Michelle Boyd Waters M.Ed.
Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

Owner and Manager
reThink ELA LLC

Waters taught secondary ELA for 10 years and is researching aliteracy in rural contexts.

What You’ll Get in this Inquiry-Based Writing Project

This 2-in-1 reading and writing unit will engage students' curiosity. They'll start by doing a series of reading activities that will help them uncover secrets of the spooky genre. Then they'll apply what they learn to their own spooky story writing. They'll even have a chance to share their work with the class and the rest of the school!

October Spooky Inquiry Unit Resources
  • We've included 5 mini-lessons to guide your students through the inquiry process and analysis of their reading and writing.
  • Print or upload our Puzzle Piece assignment sheet so students can create the multimodal representation of their findings.
  • We've included 2 Socratic Seminar activities to engage your whole class in student-led discussions during the inquiry process.
  • Download our charts and examples to help your students envision what they're looking for and inspire them to find their own answers.
  • Our student-written mentor text and writing/reading conference possibilities guides will help you facilitate rich conversations with your students as they work to hone their skills 
  • Download our unit, including the teacher's guide and daily calendar; this low-prep unit will have you set all the way through October 31.

Download Your October Lesson Plans now

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What grade level do you suggest for the October Inquiry Unit

We designed the unit for high school students, but it could be taught at the middle school level with some modifications. For example, you could choose upper middle grade horror or mystery books or short stories for the book flood, or you could make other changes to the scope of the unit based on your learner's needs.

Does this unit follow STAAR writing guidelines?

Dr. Parton didn't tailor the unit to the STAAR. However, she designed it to use reading and writing workshop though, so you can make it do what you need it to. She included some example minilessons on literary devices like tone/mood, revision, editing etc. Feel free to message us using the chat at the bottom right corner of this webpage if you have questions/want more info.