Tried and True: The Halloween Labby: Stacey Hoffman

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

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.

  • Middle
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 472 Libraries

Reviews (6)
  • on Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:09 PM

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.

Robin Lee
Robin Lee

  • on Wed May 01, 2013 10:56 AM

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.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:51 PM

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.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:10 PM

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.

Julianne Cotta  (Los Angeles, CA)
Julianne Cotta (Los Angeles, CA)

  • on Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:21 PM

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.

Sandra Gady  (Renton, WA)
Sandra Gady (Renton, WA)

  • on Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:05 PM

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,

Angelika Fairweather  (Bradenton, FL)
Angelika Fairweather (Bradenton, FL)

Free - NSTA Members

$1.29 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.