The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Easy Halloween Lesson Plan


Many of our middle school students will be familiar with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. With all the many film and television adaptations that have been produced over the years, many of them have been exposed to the story!

However, many of them have not read the actual text! Why? Well, Washington Irving seems to like his long description and silver-tongued vocabulary. In short, it’s a tough read for many middle school students.

That said, you know I’ve got your back!

Simplified Adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Now included as part of my The Legend of Sleepy Hollow resource, you will receive a simplified version of Irving’s short story. This adaptation remains true to the original story, but tones down some of the difficult early 19th century language. This more accessible version will allow students to dive deep into literary analysis!


In my classroom, I like to use this story to take a look at the characters and Irving’s use of characterization. I ask my students to examine closely the characters of Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, Katrina Van Tassel, and The Headless Horseman.

Students also work on their paragraph writing skills as they write a character sketch for each! As a bonus, I’ve also included a context clue vocabulary assignment for students to practice identifying unknown words!

This is such a fun way to incorporate a little spookiness into your classroom this fall season! I love the way holiday lesson plans seem to engage students–even the reluctant ones–in learning on a deeper level!

If you’re looking for more spooky short story fun, check out the bundle!

Until next time,

Brenna (Mrs. Nelson)

Halloween Activities for Middle School Language Arts

I LOVE Autumn! It’s my favorite time of the year! Football, Halloween, cooler weather, fall family activities, beautiful trees changing colors–I am here for all of it!

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I love to incorporate holiday-themed lessons that both teach ELA content and bring in a bit of festive fun! Halloween is no different!

This year, I’ve put together a series of Scary Short Story lessons that engage students in standards-based activities, and are also a way of enjoying the seasons! I chose three short stories to incorporate into my curriculum:

  1. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving
  2. “A Ghost Story” by Mark Twain
  3. “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe

All three of the short story lessons are jam-packed with ELA content instruction and review. Text annotation, characterization, reading informational texts, satire, suspense, and so much are presented in engaging ways to students! Slides Presentations and multiple student assignments accompany each–and, answer keys are, of course, included!

In my TpT Store, these resources are all available separately OR buy the Bundle and save 20%!

Happy Haunting–err, I mean, Teaching!

Brenna (Mrs. Nelson)

P.S. If you haven’t already, be sure to snag your FREE Halloween Vocabulary Activities HERE!