Resource Image Tried and True: The Halloween Lab

by: Stacey Hoffman
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Type of Resource: Journal Article
Average Rating: Rating
 based on 6 reviews
Publication Title: Science Scope
Publication Date: 10/1/2011
Grade Level: Middle School


This column provides classic demonstrations and experiments with a new twist. In this month’s issue the author describes a Halloween lab that uses physical and chemical changes to teach students about change of state, exothermic reactions, properties of solids and liquids, and chemical reactions.

Ideas For Use


Halloween Science
Posted in General Science and Teaching by Katie Gauvin on Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:53 PM

I think Halloween is a great chance to spark kid’s interest in Science. It is another great opportunity to get kids exci...

Additional Info

Science Discipline: (mouse over for full classification)
Chemical changes
Physical changes
Science process skills
Intended User Role:Middle-Level Educator, New Teacher, Teacher
Educational Issues:Inquiry learning, Instructional materials, Student populations: Middle school, Teaching strategies


Resource Format:
Size: KB
Installation Remarks:

National Standards Correlation

This resource has 10 correlations with the National Standards.  

This resource has 10 correlations with the National Standards.  

  • Physical Science
    • Properties of objects and materials
      • Objects have many observable properties, including the ability to react with other substances. (K-4)
      • Objects have many observable properties, including size, weight, shape, color, and temperature. (K-4)
      • The observable properties of objects can be measured using tools, such as rulers, balances, and thermometers. (K-4)
      • Objects are made of one or more materials, such as paper, wood, and metal. (K-4)
      • The properties of objects can be used to separate or sort a group of objects or materials.
      • Materials can exist in different states--solid, liquid, and gas. (K-4)
      • Some common materials, such as water, can be changed from one state to another by heating or cooling. (K-4)
  • Science as Inquiry
    • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • NA
    • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • NA
  • Teaching Standards
    • Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program for their students.
      • NA

User Reviews

adapting this for upper elementary students
  Robin Lee on October 18, 2014
  I love oobleck! How fun for the students to get a chance to really get dirty and to make observations in a really fun and messy way. I think that the scientific processes could really be simplified but the same spirit of observation could be the focal point of doing this type of lesson with fifth graders. They could observe the changes that occur when the oobleck is created and how the substance reacts to different things.

Restless Students
  Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO) on May 1, 2013
  Students are always restless around the holidays and having an interesting lab can get their attention. This article describes three activities that are tried and true, but what makes the article so great is the detailed instructions, discussion questions and explanations given.

Great Seasonal Lab
  Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS) on February 29, 2012
  Middle School students are not the only ones distracted by special holidays. This lab would be a great exercise to have a high school chemistry class do as well. It would reinforce several concepts that may have been taught earlier in the year and introduce concepts that have yet to be taught.

Chemistry at Halloween
  Julianne Cotta (Los Angeles, CA) on January 8, 2012
  This lab has several great activities to use in the chemistry unit. Does not have to be a "Halloween" lab can be used at any time of the year as we do not learn chemistry until after the winter break. All of the materials are easy to pick up at a relatively low cost. It focuses on physical/chemical changes and properties of objects thru two labs and one demonstration.

Halloween Science
  Sandra Gady (Renton, WA) on October 20, 2011
  Hoffman provides us with a “menu” of activities to choose from. One way we did this at our middle school was to have each of us within the department choose which activity we wanted to do with the students and we would share students. Each student received a “ticket” to the event they wanted, and they went to that room for the day after attendance was taken. This allowed us to plan ahead for materials, and gave the students something special to look forward to on Halloween. Within the article are not only the instructions for the activity, but an explanation of the Science as well. The activities include “Oobleck”, “Slime”, “Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble”. These labs are wonderful models for physical and chemical changes of state, exothermic reaction, properties of solids and liquids and chemical reactions.

Engaging Science
  Angelika Fairweather (Bradenton, FL) on October 4, 2011
  This article presents three spooktacular Halloween labs that will teach students about states of matter and exothermic reactions. The ingredients used are relatively inexpensive and locally available. I can't think of a better way to "trick" students into learning,