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Halloween Party Alternatives from UNICEF




  • Social Studies


  • Pre K
  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

UNICEF offers many service-learning ideas that are fun alternatives to the typical school Halloween party.



  • plan and organize (or participate in) a service-learning project that benefits the worldwide efforts of UNICEF.
  • reflect on what they learned by participating in the project.


UNICEF, Halloween, read-a-thon, fundraiser, fundraising, fund raising

Materials Needed

  • See ideas below for material requirements.

Lesson Plan

Say the word UNICEF and many people automatically make the connection to those little orange boxes that come out once a year as students "trick-or-treat for UNICEF." But those little orange boxes are just one of many ways in which children raise money to help UNICEF's efforts. In schools around the world, students organize Read-a-Thons and many other events to raise money for UNICEF. Many schools have replaced Halloween costume parades and parties with UNICEF service-learning projects. The ideas and links below will help you see a variety of options for getting students involved in a service-learning project that supports the valuable work of UNICEF.

Read-a-Thon for UNICEF
Some schools hold UNICEF read-a-thons at Halloween. Others hold them in March, to coincide with Read Across America Day.

More Event Ideas
All of the ideas below come from UNICEF. For many more ideas, see Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

Sell Something

--- Candy sale on Halloween: Tell local supermarkets you are raising money for UNICEF and ask them to donate candy or sell it at a discounted price. Set up a booth at school during lunch too; sell the candy to your classmates and teachers.
--- Greeting cards, posters or calendars: Design your own gift cards, posters, or calendars and sell them to local stores to display in their windows or to your friends and families to use at home.

Have a Fun-a-Thon

--- Dance-a-thon: Ask a local supermarket to donate refreshments. Consider charging entry or spectator fees.
--- Good Deed-a-thon: Perform chores around your house or help a neighbor mow the lawn for donations.

Organize a Festival/Event

--- Harvest-fest Fundraiser: Include activities like pumpkin painting, face painting, guessing the weight and circumference of a pumpkin, or guessing the number of kernels on a cob of corn.
--- Haunted House: Choose a safe site, like a school gym or community recreation center, and fill it with volunteer monsters and goblins. With darkened rooms, sound effects, and a little acting talent, you're sure to scare up a sizable donation.

Get Competitive

--- Rivals: Challenge your rival school or another class to raise more funds than you. Hold a pep rally or assembly with both schools/classes where the winner is announced.
--- Penny War: Kids place giant buckets or empty water cooler bottles in each classroom. The class who has the most pennies at the end of the "war" wins. The kick is that so many pennies are deducted from the class total per nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar. Kids from other classes can stick $10 bills in the class with the most pennies and essentially reduce their "war total" to nothing.

Other Good Ideas

--- Pizza party: Organize a party where everyone pays an extra dollar for their piece of the pie. Maybe you know a pizzeria that will donate some food and drinks to a worthy cause.
--- Skip-a-Snack: If you normally buy candy, soda, or other snacks, donate the change you would have spent to UNICEF instead.

Additional Resource

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF


How many students got involved in this service-learning effort?

Lesson Plan Source



See more Lesson Plans of the Day in our Lesson Plan of the Day Archive. (There you can search for lessons by subject too.)

For additional social studies lesson plans, see these Education World resources: