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Lesson Plan

Thrills! Chills! Using Scary Stories to Motivate Students to Read

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Ten 60- to 90-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Karen Luchner

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Class collection of Goosebumps books

  • Chart paper and markers

  • Folder for each student

  • Overhead projector and transparency paper

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Story Map

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Story Map

The Story Map interactive is designed to assist students in prewriting and postreading activities by focusing on the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution.


Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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1. Create a blank Scary Story Characteristics Web on chart paper.

2. Obtain as many different Goosebumps titles as you can. Many are available in local and school libraries, or you can ask your students to contribute to the classroom library by sharing their collections of Goosebumps books with the class.

3. You may want to send a permission letter home to parents explaining the instructional purpose of using Goosebumps books in the classroom and some of the positive outcomes. If any parents object to teaching Goosebumps, you can use another book (see Scary Stories Booklist).

4. Choose a Goosebumps book to read aloud. Stay in the Basement, The Haunted Mask, and Say Cheese and Die are a few favorites.

5. Make photocopies of all of the Student handouts (see Resources), as well as transparencies of the Character Descriptions Organizer and The 5 Ws of Scary Story Writing.

6. Bookmark the Web resources on all classroom or lab computers (see Resources and Websites).

7. Procure some spooky music to set the mood as students enter the classroom. Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" is a good choice, or you can access this ghoulish music.

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