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!).

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Ward's® Chemistry Elephants Toothpaste Demonstration

By observing this colorful and crazy demonstration, students learn about catalysts, decomposition reactions, exothermic reactions, gas volume, and the properties of oxygen.

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).

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3B Scientific® Flexible Ligamentary Painted Skeleton

Includes 3B Smart Anatomy.

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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Sherlock Bones: Identification of Skeletal Remains Kit

Students will be given a few bones, and then take the role of a forensic anthropologist to determine as much information as possible about the bones to help identify the individual.

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  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?).
  5. 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.

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Spider Microscope Slide

Exoskeleton of entire, small specimen. Unstained.

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  1. Ward's Longwave Fluorescent Mineral Collection. How about a little Halloween atmosphere? Under longwave fluorescence this colorful collection has an eerie glow.

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Ward's® Longwave Fluorescent Mineral Collection

Intense colors emitted from a wide variety of minerals mark this collection as an interesting demonstration and display set.

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

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Ward's® Live Bess Beetles and Habitat 

These large beetles have a striking shiny appearance.

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Ward's® Live Earthworms

Lumbriculus terrestris.

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Live Bullfrog Tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana)

Bullfrog tadpoles are great for demonstrating metamorphosis in the classroom.

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Check out more live specimens here.

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

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Ward's® Snake Skeleton

This dramatic preparation illustrates movement of a unique reptile.

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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.

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Ward's® Simulated Blood

Each blood type is provided in a 60-mL bottle.

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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.

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