As the crisp autumn breeze rustles through the colorful leaves, it’s the perfect time to infuse your classroom with seasonal excitement! Fall offers a bounty of opportunities for hands-on learning, creativity, and teamwork. In this blog post, we’ll explore engaging fall activities designed to captivate young minds while aligning with your curriculum. Let’s dive into the world of autumn-inspired learning and fun!
Fall Leaf Art Activity
Bring the beauty of fall foliage indoors by organizing a leaf art extravaganza! Encourage your students to collect leaves of various shapes and colors during recess, and then use them for artistic creations. From leaf rubbings and leaf collages to leaf animals and characters, the possibilities are endless. This activity not only celebrates the season but also promotes fine motor skills and creativity.
Fall Pumpkin Center Activities
Does anything say fall more than Pumpkins? Not only are they the symbol of fall, but they also offer rich opportunities for math, science, reading and exploration. Have your students estimate and measure the circumference and weight of pumpkins, counting the seeds inside for a hands-on math lesson. Dive into pumpkin science by observing the life cycle of a pumpkin seed, exploring its parts, and conducting pumpkin-themed experiments. This resource also includes a pumpkin themed STEM activity that will have your students collaborating together. Want to try a sample for free? Click the picture below!
Fall Leaves Science Experiment
One fascinating science experiment involving fall leaves is to investigate the process of photosynthesis and the changing colors of leaves. This experiment, from A Little Pinch of Perfect, allows students to understand why leaves change colors in the fall. Here’s how you can set it up:
- Several fresh, colorful fall leaves (red, orange, yellow)
- Small glass jars or clear plastic cups
- Rubbing alcohol
- Coffee filters or white paper towels
- Pencils or wooden sticks
- Plastic wrap
- Access to sunlight
- A flat surface to set up the experiment
- Begin by collecting a variety of fresh, colorful fall leaves. Ensure they are still relatively intact and not too dry or damaged.
- Cut the leaves into small pieces and place them in separate glass jars or clear plastic cups.
- Add enough rubbing alcohol to each container to completely cover the leaves. Stir the mixture gently to help release the pigments from the leaves.
- Cover each container with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band or string. This will prevent the alcohol from evaporating and allow the pigments to dissolve into the liquid.
- Place the containers in a sunny location, like a windowsill, for several hours or overnight. The sunlight will help accelerate the process.
- While the pigments are extracting from the leaves, prepare a simple chromatography setup. Cut small strips of coffee filters or white paper towels and attach them to the pencils or wooden sticks.
- Once the pigments have dissolved in the alcohol, carefully remove the plastic wrap from the containers.
- Dip the paper strips into the colored liquid at the bottom of each container. Make sure the strip touches the liquid but doesn’t submerge entirely.
- Allow the liquid to travel up the paper strips. As it ascends, different pigments will separate and create colorful bands on the paper.
Observations and Discussion:
- Students can observe the different colors separated on the paper strips and compare them to the original leaf colors.
- Discuss the role of chlorophyll in photosynthesis and how it masks other pigments in leaves during the growing season.
- Explain that as fall approaches, the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, leading to the breakdown of chlorophyll and the unveiling of other pigments like carotenoids (yellow and orange) and anthocyanins (red and purple).
- Encourage students to draw conclusions about why leaves change colors in the fall based on their observations and what they’ve learned about pigments and photosynthesis.
This experiment not only engages students in hands-on scientific inquiry but also helps them appreciate the beauty and science behind the changing colors of leaves during the fall season.
Fall Book and Craft Activity
One of our favorite fall activities is to read the book, The Ghost Eye Tree, and create an art project. The Ghost-Eye Tree is a popular children’s book written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, with illustrations by Ted Rand. This spooky and suspenseful story offers several educational and emotional benefits for young readers. The book’s suspenseful plot encourages critical thinking as children try to solve the mystery of the “ghost-eye tree” and the strange occurrences in the story. It prompts them to ask questions, make connections, and draw conclusions.
After reading the book together, our students painted and created these beautiful ghost eye trees using black construction paper. We loved to hang them up in our classroom for a fun fall display.
Fall Candy Corn STEM Activity
These Candy Corn STEM activities are a fun way to get students thinking creatively and working cooperatively. They are great, low-prep activities with only a few materials needed. Students will love completing these candy corn themed challenges! Try a free sample from this STEM activities unit here!
Autumn provides a splendid backdrop for learning and fun in the classroom. These fall activities not only engage students but also enhance their skills in various subjects while fostering a love for the season. By incorporating these exciting ideas, you can make this fall a memorable and enriching experience for your students. Happy autumn, and may your classroom be filled with the warmth and wonder of the season!
Besides leaves, pumpkins and candy corn, Fall is also known as the time when we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! Check out our blog post below if you are looking for fun activities to do with your students!