Teaching the horror genre in elementary school can be a fun and engaging way to introduce students to the world of literature and storytelling. While horror may seem like a scary or inappropriate genre for young children, it can be taught in a way that is both age-appropriate and educational. It is important to find the right level of scary for the students you work with!
Here are 5 tips for teaching the horror genre in elementary school libraries.
Horror Genre Tip #1: Choose age appropriate stories!
When selecting horror stories to teach in elementary school, it’s important to choose stories that are age-appropriate and free from graphic violence or explicit language. Look for stories that are spooky or suspenseful, but not overly scary or gory.
You can find some of my favorites (like Poultrygeist) in my Amazon shop!
Horror Genre Tip #2 Focus on literary elements!
Teaching horror in elementary school is a great opportunity to introduce students to literary elements such as plot, character, setting, and mood. Use horror stories to teach these concepts, focusing on how the author creates suspense and fear through their use of language, imagery, and pacing.
Encourage students to analyze the elements of the story and to identify the techniques used by the author to create a spooky or suspenseful atmosphere.
Horror Genre Tip #3 Use hands-on activities!
Engage students in hands-on activities that help to bring the horror genre to life. For example, consider having students create their own horror stories, or design their own monsters or villains.
You could also use art projects to help students visualize the setting or mood of a horror story. For example, have students create their own spooky landscapes or haunted houses using construction paper, paint, or other art supplies.
Horror Genre Tip #4 Foster discussion & reflection!
Teaching horror in elementary school can be a great way to spark discussion and reflection among students. Encourage students to share their thoughts and feelings about the stories they are reading, and to discuss the themes and messages that the author is trying to convey.
Help students to reflect on their own fears and anxieties, and to think critically about the ways that horror stories can be used to explore these emotions in a safe and controlled way!
Horror Genre Tip #5 Focus on the importance of story-telling!
Finally, use horror stories to emphasize the importance of storytelling and the power of imagination. Encourage students to use their own creativity and imagination to write their own stories or to adapt existing stories in new and interesting ways.
Teaching the horror genre in elementary school can be a fun and engaging way to introduce students to the world of literature and storytelling. By choosing age-appropriate stories, focusing on literary elements, using hands-on activities, fostering discussion and reflection, and emphasizing the importance of storytelling, you can help students to develop a love for reading and writing that will last a lifetime.
Horror Genre Books for Elementary Students
Here are a few of my favorite Horror Genre books to read with students in the library. I LOVE to highlight the horror genre in October for Halloween. You can use them anytime, but I find October/Halloween to be a perfect tie in.