Concoct a Witch’s Brew – School Day Stew to Catch Kids’ Attention

Bring a large non-breakable pot to school to use as a witch's cauldron for concocting School Day Stew.

Bring a large non-breakable pot to school to use as a “witch’s cauldron” for concocting School Day Stew. Yum, yum!

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Here’s a quick Halloween-time trick for catching kids’ attention at the start of an October day…

Concoct a Witch’s Brew – School Day Stew.

Steps to Follow:

Complete some Easy Advance Preparation (See below) prior to introducing students to your Witch’s Brew – School Day Stew.

Catch kids attention by donning a witch's hat as you prepare to concoct a Witch's Brew - School Day Stew.

Catch kids attention by donning a witch’s hat as you prepare to concoct a Witch’s Brew – School Day Stew.

Stirring up the Stew:

Before you “start the stew,” get kids’ attention by donning a witch’s hat that you’ve hidden behind your desk.

Then surprise the class by lifting up a large non-breakable cooking pot from behind your desk.

Using your best put-on “witch’s voice,” announce, “The pot I’m holding in my clever hands isn’t just any old cooking pot.”

Get into a “good witch’s act,” saying, “No, no, my little darlings!…”

“This giant pot is our class’ cauldron for concocting a Witch’s Brew – School Day Stew.”

Continuing in your witch’s voice, suggest that “this will be a frightfully fun way to learn!”

Reassure the class that the fun will come because you’re a “good witch,” not an evil one, and they are all good kids.

By now you have everyone’s attention.

Next, tell students that you need help with your recipe. Ask for volunteers.

Invite volunteers to come up to the “witch’s cauldron” and help you add the ingredients you need for today’s Witch’s Brew – School Day Stew.

Instruct volunteers one by one to reach into a big box or grocery bag and pull out one of the items you’ve placed there in your advance preparation for this attentionology trick.

For example, one kid could find a sheet of paper with a title, Frightfully Fun Spelling Words. 

Ask that student to read the title aloud to the class and drop the spelling list into the “cauldron.”

Advise the class that you’ll be reviewing the spelling list during the day ahead.

Another student could pull out a book with a Halloween theme.

Ask the student to read the book title aloud and carefully place the book in the cauldron.

Use the moment to remind students that some “ingredients” for School Day Stew need to be carefully handled. Books are one example.

Continue guiding students in the process of creating your class’ Witch’s Brew – School Day Stew.

Include as many items and involve as many student volunteers as your time permits for this attention-getting trick.

Now for the Easy Advance Preparation…

Catch kids' attention with a mask that you assert holds magical powers for you to see.

Close the trick of concocting a Witch’s Brew – School Day Stew by donning a mask and then taking it off to “unmask the first lesson of the day.”

Follow Steps 1 – 2 – 3 – 4, no need for more:

  • Select a witch’s hat, a mask, a large non-breakable pot and a large box or grocery bag. 
  • Hide these items in your classroom.
  • Gather the instructional materials you plan to use as “ingredients” for the “stew.”
  • The day before you plan to concoct your “stew” with the class, place the “ingredients” in the large box or bag.

Concocting a Witch’s Brew – School Day Stew will engage your class because kids love teachers to dramatize learning and they enjoy instructional resources as manipulatives that allow learning by doing.

Want to add even more spice to your stew?

Close this Halloween-time trick by donning a mask and then taking it off.

Announce that it’s time to “unmask the first lesson of the day.”

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

 

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
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