13 spooktacular science ideas and activities for Halloween lessons

Science activities for halloween

Middle School / High School

As the days get darker this October, make your science lessons a little spookier with creepy, crawly activities and materials for your classroom.

Here are 13 spooktacular science ideas and activities to help you cast your spell:

  1. Elephant's Toothpaste Halloween Demo. This one’s guaranteed to make your students go, “Whoa!” If that’s something you want (and what teacher doesn’t?), then check out this “all eyes glued” demonstration you can replicate in your classroom. Hint: it involves a pumpkin, hydrogen peroxide, and exothermic processes (muahaha!).
  2. Dry Ice Bubble Chemistry Demonstration. This one’s … sublime. If one of your students doesn’t actually accuse you of being a mad wizard, then we haven’t done our job. Don’t miss this one.
  3. Tarantula Molting. Warning: students you don’t even know will find excuses to sneak inside your classroom to see this one. The steps are simple: Get a tarantula -> Let the students watch it shed its exoskeleton -> You’re officially the coolest teacher in the school.
  4. 3B® Flexible Ligamentary Muscular Skeleton. Meet Sam. His mother always told him he was “like skin and bones.” And she was half right. Teach all aspects of skeletal anatomy with this guy. Just calmly explain to your students the skeleton is a replica (or don’t—and see their reactions).
  5. Ward's Introduction to Owl Pellets Lab Activity. Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a little “gross-out” horror. Regurgitated owl pellets contain the indigestible parts of their prey. By dissecting an owl pellet, students can identify the small animals that are prey for the owls. Yum.
  6. Sherlock Bones: Identification of Skeletal Remains Lab Activity. This popular activity will have your students playing forensic anthropologist to identify an individual by their bones. Morbid—but that’s what Halloween (and CSI) is all about.
  7. BoneClones Hominids Skull Series. Stashing these skulls around your classroom is just what you need to make your classroom the creepiest around. Don’t miss your chance to introduce students to “Lucy” and “Java Man.”
  8. Ward's PURE Preserved™ Rats. We’re gonna go off on a limb and assume a good ol’ fashioned rat dissection will be enough to put the jitters in your students for Halloween. Go ahead and try it.
  9. 3B® Scientific Rod Mount Skeleton. You met Sam earlier. If you liked him, check out his more economical cousin. Meets the requirements of introductory anatomy courses and just as spooky.
  10. Preserved Bat. What’s Halloween without a bat? This one comes complete with teacher information guide, fact sheet, student activity sheets, and answer key. Preserved and encased in clear resin material, this one won’t fly away (or will it?).
  11. Spider Slide. We mentioned molting before. Here’s an exoskeleton that’s somehow creepier than a whole spider. Makes for a good Halloween demonstration. Arachnophobics beware.
  12. Ward's Longwave Fluorescent Mineral Collection. How about a little Halloween atmosphere? Under longwave fluorescence this colorful collection has an eerie glow.

And let’s not forget lucky number 13… Ward’s many creepy critters—perfect for display, discussion, and disgust:

Ward's Live Bess Beetles and Habitat

Ward's Live Earthworms

Ward's Live Bullfrog Tadpoles

Check out more live specimens here.

And how about this for the perfect Halloween prop? Ward’s Snake Skeleton.

At Ward’s, we’re taking a stand against boring Halloween lessons. These activities and supplies are sure to get the students’ hearts pumping and blood flowing. Come to think of it, here’s a human heart and Ward’s Simulated Blood to add to the mix.

Make the Halloween season in your classroom a time they’ll never forget!

Have questions on how to use any of the above in your classroom? Just ask the Ward’s Science Plus Us team at sciencehelp@vwr.com. Our in-house scientists and technicians are ready to answer even the toughest inquiries.

Previous Video
Halloween fun with chemical reactions: Jack-o-lantern tube of toothpaste demo
Halloween fun with chemical reactions: Jack-o-lantern tube of toothpaste demo

Beware! This demonstration is dramatic (and we know students love drama!). Here’s a spooky Halloween demons...

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Inside the Ward's Lab: Tarantula Molting
Inside the Ward's Lab: Tarantula Molting

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