Finding engaging books to teach Virginia Studies can be challenging. But, I’ve just found the perfect Virginia Studies picture book for October. In this blog post, I’ll share all about A Haunted Ghost Tour in Virginia (by Louise Martin) and how to use it to enhance your Virginia Studies lessons.


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About A Haunted Ghost Tour in Virginia

A Haunted Ghost Tour in Virginia by Louise Martin is not what it sounds. It is not scary, and it is not your traditional spooky ghost story. Instead, a group of not-so-spooky ghosts and cute trick-or-treaters tour different cities and sites throughout Virginia to learn about October traditions and festivities throughout the state.

A few of the cities they visit and things they do include a spooky boat tour in Richmond, a hayride through Blacksburg, and a costume contest in Chesapeake. The group also sees sites such as the Capitol building, Monticello, and Amazement Square Children’s Museum.

What makes this a great read aloud for upper elementary students is that it is fun and has colorful, inviting pictures while still covering some SOLs. This truly is the perfect Virginia Studies picture book for October!


Ways to Use the Virginia Studies Picture Book

To make sure students get the most out of this A Haunted Ghost Tour in Virginia read aloud, incorporate some activities related to the book in your Virginia Studies lessons. I’ve listed a few of my favorite activities to use with this Virginia Studies picture book below.

Add a Page to the Picture Book

A Haunted Ghost Tour in Virginia is a great Virginia Studies picture book for October because it covers a lot of cities and places throughout Virginia. But, it’s also missing a lot of important cities and places.

Instruct students to create an additional two pages for the book that highlights a different Virginia city or place that was not used by the author. The students should write the text and create the illustrations for those pages. You can assign cities to students or allow them to choose their own.

Review Virginia Regions and Geography

Reading A Haunted Ghost Tour in Virginia is an easy way to review Virginia regions and geography. As you read through each page, discuss the geography of each place the ghosts and trick-or-treaters visit. Be sure to discuss the region where the city or place is located. Students should also discuss any important geographical features of the city such as nearby rivers, mountain ranges, etc.


Compare the Cities

I love when I can find ways to incorporate math into my Virginia Studies lessons. A Haunted Ghost Tour in Virginia lends the perfect opportunity to do that.

After reading the Virginia Studies picture book, go back through the book and list all the cities and places that were used by the author. Instruct students to create a graphical display such as a tally chart or a bar graph to show the regions where the cities and places are located in Virginia.

Discuss the findings as a class. Is there one region that is more represented in the book compared to the other regions? Why do students think that is the outcome? Is there a way the author could have represented all of Virginia’s regions better throughout the book?

You could also take this activity a step further by having students write an essay that answers the questions above. Then, you have a super lesson that combines math, ELA, and Virginia Studies!


If you’re looking for a Virginia Studies picture book for October, there is nothing better than A Haunted Ghost Tour in Virginia by Louise Martin! The book will easily keep students engaged and smiling as they read about important cities and places throughout Virginia.

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