Halloween word mining

Excavate a phrase to see how many new words you can create. 

You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil or pen


30 minutes

Learning Stages

Word mining challenges kids to use letters from a word or phrase to form as many new words as they can.

Write a Halloween phrase like TRICK OR TREAT or HALLOWEEN NIGHT at the top of a piece of paper, and then challenge children to mine as many new words as they can.

You can suggest a few tricks to move things along:

  • Separate the vowels and consonants (changing HALLOWEEN NIGHT into AOEEI and HLLWNNGHT).
  • Once children have a few words down, look for rhymes in the same word family (wail, tail, nail).
  • See if vowels can be swapped to make new consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words (tan, tin, ton, ten).
  • Look for words that make new words when spelled backwards (not, net).
  • Look at CVC words to see if they can add silent E (not becomes note).


Some sample words:

TRICK OR TREAT: to, at, it, eat, ate, art, are, ear, oak, oat, oar, kit, cat, rat, rot, cot, tar, car, tot, tea, tie, cake, coat, kite, rice, tear, rear, roar, rate, rake, rock, tick, tock, tack, take, trek, trot, tire, tore, core, trace, track, crate, attic

HALLOWEEN NIGHT: to, at, it, we, eat, ate, oat, owe, own, owl, ten, tan, tin, ton, tag, hat, hit, wet, owl, low, now, new, net, let, wet, win, wag, won, leg, gel, law, wall, thin, than, wail, tail, nail, wall, well, line, hill, hole, howl, weigh, light, wheel, hello