Hello there you cozy cool teaching cat!
Well it should be fall, but here summer is lasting a little longer. How about you? These fun leaf activities will get you in the fall spirit in no time no matter what the climate where you are! Not to mention, in good S.O.L. Train style, it combines multiple subjects. These activities can last an entire day. I was inspired the other day when my daughter and I were going on a nature walk. I thought to myself, this would be awesome for my teacher friends! That being said, she’s only 20mos old so I had to add some extras for your kiddos.
Tell your students, that a big part of fall is when the weather gets cool and leaves fall to the ground. To celebrate fall, your students are going to go on a fall nature walk. If it’s cool outside, tell them they need long sleeves because it gets cool in the fall.
Have your students rake the leaves, either with their hands or with actual rakes, and put them into their bags/baskets. Tell them to make sure they have a variety of colors. They can even rake other fall items like acorns and pinecones.
After your students finish raking their fall items and putting them in bags/baskets, take them inside and have them put their collections on their desks. Next, your students will sort their collections according to type and leaf color. You can even do two graphs: 1) Sorted according to type, 2) Sorted according to color.
Ask students to count the items in each of their groups and write down the number. Make sure each group is labeled so they know which group has which number. You may need to give a little extra assistance to your younger kiddos.
Once the observations have been recorded(yes you can use this as reinforcement for science terms), ask your students what types of fall items they found. Create a graph on a paper pad or on the white board that includes all the different types of items.
Next, ask your students to raise their hands if they have an item on the graph. Ask each student how many he or she has and write the number on the board. Add up all the students’ answers and fill in the graph. You can even encourage a student to come to the front and fill in the graph. Repeat this process with each type of graph you want to make.
Put your students in groups. Have them once again sort their fall collections in piles by type or color. This time, ask questions like: Which type/color does your team have the most of? How many more of type 1 do you have than type 2? If you put type 1 and type 2 together, how many items would you have altogether? You can take the number of yellow leaves from the graph and ask students how many yellow leaves there would be if one group got rid of their yellow leaves.
This would be a similar approach to the approach mentioned above only using multiplication and division scenarios: If you wanted to share all the pinecones so that each person in your group has the same amount, how many would each person have? How many, if any, are left over? If we gave each person in the classroom 1 red leaf, how many leaves would we need? If your students are more advanced, you can have them write equations to match the scenarios you offer.
Have your students do leaf rubbings. These are fantastic for young ones because they build fine motor skills. They’re great for older ones because they can be creative. Here are a few different ideas because I couldn’t pick just one!
Once you’ve completed your math and art activities, ask your students to come up with predictions based on their observations of these fall items. They can use color of the leaves, weight of each item, size of each item, whatever they can think of. Encourage them to think of something first. If they can’t, offer up something like: Which items do you think would sink/float? Which items would fall fastest? Which items would be best for building?(here is where you can factor in STEM). You can have your students create something using their fall collections. The challenge is they can only use one type(acorns, pinecones, leaves, etc.) If they need to go outside and collect more, tell them to go outside and rake up more of their items of choice. If you’d like a FREE STEM Interactive Notebook page that you can use with this project, sign up for our newsletter by clicking the button below:
Feel free to share your experiences and tips in the comments below. We love to hear how our ideas are working in your classroom! Have an awesome week.
Check back later to read about what Pam did with their leaf walk!