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Guess Who's Coming to Our Classroom

Return to SPOOKtacular Lessons for Halloween!

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Educational Technology
  • Social Studies
  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

Exercise research skills to help the teacher figure out what famous person is being portrayed by each student in Miss Teries class. Student work sheet included.


  • identify key facts and important terms within descriptions.
  • use facts and terms as the basis for research.


Halloween, biography, role-play

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

In lieu of traditional Halloween parties, many schools celebrate the season with other types of dress-up affairs. In this lesson, students help a new teacher who has designed such an activity but left out an important step.

Think of a character or individual who has recently been discussed in your classroom. Ask the students to describe how they could create a costume that would suit this character. What aspects of the costume would be easily recognized and associated with the character to "give away" his identity? What if the students could also add a few sentences of dialogue? What would they say that would provide enough information without mentioning the name of the character?

Then share this story of Miss Terie (Mys-tery, get it?), a teacher who has developed a neat Halloween activity for her class:

Miss Terie is a new language arts teacher who hasn't had much experience with planning class celebrations. She took her students to the library weeks ago and asked them to select a biography or autobiography of a well-known figure. To cap off their reading, the students were told come to school on Halloween day dressed as the figure they have read about.

Because she has never organized such an activity, Miss Terie did not have the students record the names of their chosen biographies or their subjects. Now she has no guideline to help her recognize the characters the students are portraying. The only clue to the students' identity is the brief statement each will make as he or she enters the classroom.

Distribute copies of the Guess Who's Coming to Our Classroom Work Sheet. Read the instructions and identify the materials your students should use for their research. These may include encyclopedias and other historical reference books and/or online resources. If Internet resources are used, you may refer students to the Web site Give students appropriate time to work. Collect their work sheets when complete. If you teach younger students, you might simply provide four of the character sketches from this activity for students to research.


Collect student papers and grade with the following answer key:
1. Napoleon Bonaparte; 2. Clara Barton; 3. Martin Luther King Jr.; 4. George W. Bush; 5. Queen Elizabeth II; 6. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Bonus: Answers will vary.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Cara Bafile

National Standards


  • GRADES K - 4

  • NSS-USH.K-4.3 The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the People from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic, and Political Heritage
    NSS-USH.K-4.4 The History of Peoples of Many Cultures Around the World
  • GRADES 5 - 12

  • NSS-USH.5-12.8 Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
    NSS-USH.5-12.10 Era 10: Contemporary United States (1968 to the Present)
  • GRADES K - 12

  • NT.K-12.5 Technology Research tools

See more Halloween lessons from Education World on our Happy Halloween page.

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