It’s that time of year again! The temperature drops, the leaves change, and we trade in our shorts and flip-flops for pants and real shoes. The magic of fall is upon us again.
Not only are the different elements of autumn exciting to experience, but they also are goldmines for science topics. Teachers and students alike can learn a lot by examining the many changes that happen during the last few months of the year. Consider the following when it comes to teaching your students about fall and the transitions it brings:
Why Do Leaves Change Color?
This classic question can be a good opener into how plant cells work, and has plenty of opportunity to combine art projects with the construction of a cell. If your class isn’t at the level of learning about how cells and chlorophyll work, take a class walk to find different colored leaves to sketch/draw and talk about what tree they are from. You can also try this leaf color experiment from How Wee Learn.
What Causes The Seasons To Change?
The seasons change as the earth’s axis points towards or away from the sun during its orbit around the sun. When one hemisphere is pointed toward the sun, that hemisphere experiences summer, while the other simultaneously has winter. Multiple activities can go along with this concept. National Geographic has a great lesson that can be broken down or built up depending on the classroom level or grade. Read it here.
Why Do Animals Hibernate?
Who doesn’t love to talk about animals? Animals around the world have adapted to the rises and drops in temperature throughout the year. Get your students involved with some great hibernation activities from TeachHub or learn about seasonal migration with Learner.org.
Activity: Fall Sensory Bottle
Switch things up and get your students outside. Give each student a clear water bottle and have them collect natural items as you walk and put them in the bottle. Once your students fill their bottle, fill it with water. You can also make this activity work for both younger and slightly older students. Read the full activity guide from Little Bins for Little Hands here.
The shift in seasons is filled with beauty and fun, but it’s also a great time to take advantage of the educational value that comes with each! Whether your lesson is based on science, art, or reading and research, learning more about the seasons and how they occur is a great way to get your class excited and engaged with what you’re teaching.