We are approaching the end of October and for school people it is the chance to practice English and familiarize our students with a typical celebration: Halloween. I was reading Selections of the Reader´s Digest in Spanish (October 2012) and found these pictures on the last page in the section The last Laugh. They were not intended for English teaching but as it usually happens to us, we cannot help finding "authentic material" to supplement our teaching.
I am posting two suggestions to be used at this time. The first one can be used at primary level and it is the familiar game Find the Differences. Just remember that as important as it is to find the seven differences is to exploit the activity in such a way that it would help students use English in a natural way. You may organize students in groups of three and allocate a time limit to find the differences, then during the feedback you can ask a group representative to explain the strategy they used to fulfill the task or the difficulties they faced to achieve it.
The second suggestion can be used at higher levels and it intends to promote a discussion. Some people may find it of bad taste, others may find it funny. Whichever the case, give students the chance to express their opinions and try not to be judgmental about them. As with everything in life, we like different things and even the celebration of Halloween may arise controversies so the point is to try to exploit that for the students´ benefit.
In my opinion, we should try to show our students that language is communication and what we communicate is feelings and opinions of the different things we come accross. In our country we also celebrate the Procession of the Lord of the Miracles and even "El Día de la Canción Criolla", these are also conversation topics that may help teachers motivate students to communicate in English.
If you need some more ideas for celebrations you can visit Learn English Kids of the British Council : http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/ You will certainly find lots of ideas, games and crafts that are really helpful.