7th January 2005 at 00:00
KS1 Working in pairs, pupils could describe and draw a ghost that haunts the swimming baths, the school toilets or the local cinema.

KS2 Ask pupils to write a ghost story in which this exchange appears: "Are you Father Christmas?" Louise asked the strange figure, uncertainly. "You don't look at all like him." "Of course not," he replied. "I'm a Christmas ghost." "Then why are you here?"

KS3 Read The Listeners by Walter de la Mare with your students; ask them to pick out details that suggest the listeners are other than human. They should examine the use of sound effects to contrast the strangeness of the beings, their effect on the traveller and lack of effect on the horse.

KS4 Students should read chapter 1 of A Christmas Carol from Scrooge's arrival at his front door ("Now it is a fact, that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker") to the end, then consider how Dickens uses humour, macabre detail and Scrooge's character to make the reader believe in the haunting.

KS5 Students should read the scenes from Act I of Hamlet where the ghost of the dead king is talked about or appears (scenes i; ii, 183 - end; iii; and v), and discuss how Shakespeare makes the apparition both frightening and convincing. They should consider the creation of atmosphere, use of emotive language, reference to common superstitions, characterisation of Horatio, and the ghost's effect on Hamlet's behaviour.

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