Social Thinking Articles


One more BOO-tiful way to Teach Social Concepts using a Halloween Theme

One more BOO-tiful way to Teach Social Concepts using a Halloween Theme

© 2023 Think Social Publishing, Inc.

If you don't already have more Halloween ideas than you know what to do with… get ready to have some fun planning and designing a Halloween character’s front door! Holiday front doors can give us clues about the people who live behind them. Clues like which items are left outside, how they are arranged, whether or not the decorations are sweet, silly, or spooky.

Take a neighborhood walk or look online for examples of clever, creative and/or spooky Halloween doors for inspiration. Think about these questions as you collect ideas. What do you notice? Are there...piles of pumpkins? brooms? spider webs? giant googly eyes? skeletons?



Then think about whose door you might want to design.

First, make a visual character file. This is like a people file where you think about what you already know about a person. Use a file folder or just fold a piece of paper in half. The inside of the folder will be where you collect facts about the character. You can write or draw pictures of what you know about that character on the inside of the file folder. For example, if you are making a door for a witch, ask yourself:

  1. What do I already know about that character? Loves brooms, black hats, making poison, spiders, etc. Draw or write these inside the folder.

  2. What have I observed about them from a book, movie, or TV? Witches have cats, sometimes have apples, wear cloaks, etc. Draw/write these facts.

  3. What would they like outside their door? Caldron, broom, spider. Think from their point of view. What do they want others to know or think about their likes.

  4. Draw quick simple sketches.

Next, create your door! Decorate the front or outside of your file folder using your visual character file information or facts from the inside of the folder.

For example, if you are designing a door for a witch, then there might be a broom leaning against the door, a black cat waiting to be let inside, or a spare cauldron. Or a spider might have a very big door with a tiny passage inside.

  • You can also add a picture of your character to the inside of the folder or folded paper, so that when you open the door, there they are with all of their most loved things.

  • Share your door with others and have them make smart guesses about who lives behind your door!

Whether you’re creating doors together or guessing at who might be behind them, this is a fun way to practice social observation and gathering information to help interpret what we see.

Green Door Red Door

And this activity doesn’t just need to be for Halloween or another holiday. Have your kids or students make front doors for their favorite characters in books or movies!

You can also check out the DO ObseRve (DOORs) strategy for ideas on how to use doors in another way, every day, to support social observation.

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