Halloween Sudoku Puzzle to Use in the Classroom

Updated on June 5, 2017
Creative Commons license 2.0
Creative Commons license 2.0 | Source

How would you like to use an adorable Halloween sudoku puzzle as a fun classroom activity? This puzzle is designed for elementary-age students, and it can be used with older students for individual seat work after completing a math assignment, as an early-arriver activity, or as a separate assignment to teach logic skills. With younger students, it can be used as an activity for the entire class to work on and complete cooperatively.

Halloween Symbols Instead of Numbers

One of the delights of sudoku puzzles is the fact that they rely on logic, rather than on arithmetic skills; and so letters, Roman numerals, pictures, or symbols can be used in place of numerical digits. This Halloween sudoku uses Halloween clip-art designs instead of numbers. A ghost, spider's web, jack-o'-lantern, witch's hat, cauldron, skull and crossbones, witch's broom, spider, and witch's cat fill in the squares of the puzzle grid.

The children will not need to draw each object artistically in order to complete the puzzle. They may wish to use the following sketchy representations for each picture:

Quick Representations of the Clip-Art Symbols


It may even be possible to locate colorful stickers that can be used in place of each picture; or you could create your own in black and white by printing the original symbols on printable labels (such as those made by Avery).

The given symbols in this puzzle form the rough shape of a smiling jack-o'-lantern. Most standard puzzles use around 22-26 given numbers, depending on the difficulty level, and thirty are given here to make this puzzle suitable even for younger students. It is possible to solve the entire puzzle using only the slice-and-dice technique, but older students may notice instances where they can use other techniques too.

Halloween Sudoku Puzzle


Beyond Elementary Slice-and-Dice

This might be an excellent time for students to learn an alternate form of slice-and-dice, which I like to call "ghost" slice-and-dice, if they don't know it yet. (Yes, I call it by that name, no matter what time of year it is.) Using this technique, the solver notices locations where a specific digit clearly belongs in a certain row or column of a particular block, although the specific cell is not identified; but the ghost of that digit (or symbol, in this puzzle) can claim the entire column or row and thereby eliminate that column or row from consideration in other blocks (nonads), as you can see below in Figure 7.

Here's an example of the use of "ghost" slice-and-dice, beginning with the starting grid; you see how the ghostly 6's in the central block can lay claim to the entire sixth column, since a six must go in that column in the middle block. (You can even use ghost slice-and-dice to move past the stage shown in Figure 8 by using Ghost Sixes in Row 5, left block, to eliminate one of the Ghost Sixes in Column 6.)

Step-by-Step Demonstration of Ghost Slice-and-Dice


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • WillStarr profile image


      8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      What a great idea!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)