Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun with Autumn Leaves

I like to do activities with my class that celebrate the season. Changing seasons is an exciting time and it is good to do activities that explain the changing events. It is also good for students to learn that not all places have different seasons and some have longer seasons than other. When I moved to South Carolina after growing up in New York, I was amazed at the differences in seasons. I also find it interesting to talk to classes in the southern hemisphere because they are experiencing the opposite seasons that we are having.

I actually like having a bunch of different activities for my students to choose from. Some students like the more artsy types of activities while others like using the computer or do writing activities. Giving students a choice of activities helps them feel in control and usually the lessons are more successful.

Reading – Read together Why Leaves Change Color in the Fall by Science Made Simple. There is a vocabulary puzzle and some fun activities to do.

Candles – Find colorful leaves and glue them to candles using melted wax

Leaf rubbings – Use crayons or pencils to take rubbings of leafs. You can make notecards as presents

Bulletin Boards – let students collect colorful leaves and staple them as a border around the bulletin board.

Writing – Give each student a colorful leaf and have them write a story about the life of this leaf. Where did it grow up? What kind of things did it see from its place on the tree? What lessons did it learn? What message would it want to tell other leaves?

Science – Find out what causes leaves to change color. Take a photo of a leaf and upload it to Voicethread. Tell about the life cycle of this leaf.

Photos – take photos of leaves that are colorful. Upload photos into Flickr. Make a photo collage. Big Huge Lab has Flickr toys to use with your photos.

Poetry – have students write poems about autumn leaves and post on a wiki or a blog. Add photos of leaves to the page.

Collaborative Project – Develop a wiki using pbwiki or wikispaces. Make a chart and invite other classes from around the world to add information to the chart about the following information:
When does fall start in your location?
Leaves of what trees turn red?
Leaves of what trees turn yellow?
Leaves of what trees turn orange?
Add a picture of trees with changing leaves and post the date of when the photo was taken.

If you have any fun activities to share, please leave a comment. I love having new activities in my bag of tricks. My lessons are more successful if I have a variety of activities for students to choose from so please tell me your favorites.

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