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Write a Ghost Story

Students will identify a place people think is haunted, conduct research to learn about it and use what they learned to write a ghost story about the place.

PROCESS:

  1. Invite students to share what they know about ghost stories. Point out that ghost stories are works of fiction. What makes them scary is that they contain just enough truth to seem real.
  2. Remind students that the article they read described Cerro Gordo as a ghost town. But that label referred to the fact that it is an old, abandoned town. It didn't mean Cerro Gordo had ghosts. Then point out that there are places in the world that people do think are haunted. Invite students to share what they know about some of these places.
  3. Have students conduct research to identify and learn about a place that people think is haunted. What theories do people have and what stories do people tell about this place? What evidence makes people think this place is really haunted?
  4. Challenge students to use what they learned to write their own ghost story about this place.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their stories with the class. Encourage classmates to identify elements that made the stories scary or seem real.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Conduct research to identify and learn about a haunted place as a class. Then divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to brainstorm ideas and write a ghost story about the place.
Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct groups to conduct research to identify and learn about a place people think is haunted. Challenge groups to select one theory or story that exists about the place and embellish it to write a ghost story of their own.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Have partners conduct research to identify and learn about a place people think is haunted. Challenge them to select one theory or story that is told about the place, brainstorm ideas about how it could be enhanced, and then write a ghost story of their own.
Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Have partners conduct research to identify and learn about a place people think is haunted. Challenge students to analyze the evidence that makes people think this place is haunted. Then have them brainstorm ideas and write a new ghost story about this place.