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In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories

Last updated Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Author: Alvin Schwartz
Illustrator: Dirk Zimmer
Date of Publication: 1984
ISBN: 0060252715
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2009

Synopsis: Seven tales with just the right amount of chill are gathered in this collection - perfect for a dark night read. Young readers will be introduced to such characters as the woman who always wears a green ribbon around her neck and the mysterious boy standing in the rain by the cemetery. Brrrr! From Barnes and Noble.

Note to readers:
•  Don’t do a picture walk. Show the pictures after reading each page so as to not spoil the surprise.
•  Vocabulary: corpse, cemetery

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you like scary stories? Why/why not?
•  Do you have a scary story that you want to share?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does the woman at the graveyard scream?
•  Why do you think the woman wears the green ribbon?
•  What do you think is in the dark, dark room?
•  Will the man get his sweater back?
•  Will Ruth find the pirate's ghost?
•  Which story was the scariest?
•  Who is the scariest person you have ever seen?
•  Do dead people talk?
•  Do you have any secrets that you can’t tell us?
•  What is the scariest room in your house?
•  Do you get in cars with strangers?
•  Have you scared your brothers or sisters?
•  Do you have any scary stories?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a green ribbon to attach your head to your body.
•  Make a pirate hat.
•  Make a ghost wind sock. Fold construction paper to form a tube. Staple together. Attach ribbon or cut construction paper into strips and attach to the bottom of the tube.
•  Fold a paper into quarters and to create a book with your own scary story.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!