Fall Fun
 

Fall Fun

Autumn Leaves, Back to School, Columbus Day

Don't miss our Halloween and Thanksgiving pages for more Fall fun!

 

 

 

Reading

 

Come, Little Leaves
George Cooper

"Come," said the Wind to the Leaves one day.
"Come over the meadows with me and play.
Put on your dresses of red and gold.
For summer is gone and the days grow cold."

Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all;
Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
singing the glad little songs they knew.

"Cricket, goodbye, we've been friends so long;
Little brook, sing us your farewell song;
Say you are sorry to see us go;
Ah, you will miss us, right well we know.

"Dear little lambs in your fleecy fold,
Mother will keep you from harm and cold;
fondly we watched you in vale and glade;
Say, will you dream of our loving shade?"

Dancing and whirling, the little leaves went;
Winter had called them, and they were content;
soon, fast asleep in their earthy beds,
The snow laid a coverlid over their heads.

 

 

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

An online presentation of Beatrix Potter's
classic storybook.  Beautifully illustrated. 

 

It's Autumn Time

A cute and funny story about a clever mouse
 who ends up enjoying some bountiful fall snacking.

 

The  Three Apples

A short story to accompany the themes of
 sustainability, seed planting, or planning ahead. 




Who Has Seen The Wind?  
  by Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

 

 

 

 

Songs & Fingerplays


 

Fall Is Here
(tune: Frere Jacques)

Fall is here. Fall is here.
See the trees.  See the trees.
Autumn leaves are falling.
Autumn leaves are falling.
All Around.  All Around.

 

 

Leaves, Leaves
(tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Leaves, leaves falling down
Falling to the ground
Orange and yellow, red and brown
Autumnís come to town

 

 

The Leaves on the Trees
(tune: "Wheels of the Bus")

The leaves on the trees turn orange and brown...
orange and brown... orange and brown
The leaves on the trees turn orange and brown
All through the town.

The leaves on the trees go swish, swish, swish...
swish, swish, swish... swish, swish, swish
The leaves on the trees go swish, swish, swish
All through the town.

The leaves on the trees come tumbling down,
 tumbling down, tumbling down
The leaves on the trees coming tumbling down
All through the town.

The leaves on the ground go crunch, crunch, crunch...
crunch, crunch, crunch... crunch, crunch, crunch
The leaves on the ground go crunch, crunch, crunch
All through the town!
 

 

 

Grey Squirrel

Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Swish your bushy tail!
Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Swish your bushy tail!
Wrinkle up your funny nose
Hold a nut between your toes
Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Swish your busy tail!

 

 

 

Pumpkin Song
(tune: I'm a little teapot)

I'm a little pumpkin
Orange and round.
Here is my stem,
There is the ground.
When I get all cut up,
Don't you shout!
Just open me up
And scoop me out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Apple Tree
  Way up high in the apple tree   (shake two fists up high)
  Two little apples smiled at me      (point to smile)
  I shook that tree as hard as I could (pretend to shake tree with both hands)
  And down they came   (fists fall in zigzag pattern to floor)
  And mmmm were they good! (pantomime scooping and eating apples)

 

 

More Harvest/Pumpkin Poems and Songs

 

Fall/Woods Songs from Everything Preschool

Great songs and finger plays about squirrels, owls, leaves, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

Writing

 

 

Apple Poem

Print the apple shaped lined paper and the brainstorm words having to do with apples.  Use the paper to write your finished poem.

 

Fall Acrostic

Write an acrostic poem about fall things. Begin each line with a word or phrase that starts with the letter on that line.  What fall thing can you think of that starts with F?  How about A? Write it down and keep it going.  Get the printable.

 

Fall Haiku

Falling leaves, a brisk gust of the fall breeze... this time of year lends itself well to the clean, crisp style of haiku poetry.  Haiku is a traditional Japanese poetry form consisting of only three lines.   The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables.  The goal of haiku is to paint a concise, clear expression of images, feeling, and meaning. 

 

Fall Similes

Similes are a useful tool to powerful writing, especially for poetry.  In this lesson students create descriptive autumn similes and write them on fall-themed paper:

The leaves are as orange as a pumpkin.
The weather is as crisp as fresh lettuce.
The scarecrows blow in the wind like big rag dolls.

 

Scary Similes

Simple writing exercise for young students (1st and 2nd grade).

 

Silly Scarecrow Alliteration

What words can you think of that start with the letter S?  Can you put them together to make a silly poem or story about a silly scarecrow or other fall things?  Print this scarecrow themed lined paper to write down your creation.

 

 

 

Social Studies

 

A Biography of Johnny Appleseed

The fascinating true story of the man who helped make the apple tree so widespread in the U.S.  

 

Teaching About Elections 

Designed to help U.S. 5th grade students gain an understanding of the process by which we elect our leaders, relate government principles to students' lives through diverse activities, and instill in students an appreciation for their responsibilities as U.S. citizens.

See also:  Elections, 5th Grade   and Voting

 

Columbus Day

A wealth of Columbus related history resources from Kids Domain.

 

 

 

 

 

Science

 

Why Leaves Change Color

The largest factor in why leaves change color in the autumn is photoperiodism-the length of day and night. As the nights get longer in Autumn, the process of senescence becomes apparent through color change and the falling of leaves, leading the tree into it's winter dormancy. Read more    (Middle School and older)

Autumn Leaf Color -- Explanation and Experiment

This site explains how plants get ready for winter, including why leaves change colors.   Then it talks you through a simple do-at-home experiment that allows you to separate colors in a green leaf using chromatography -- very cool! 

 

Leaf Identification

With all these leaves falling to the ground, what a great time to go on a nature walk and collect different types to sort and identify.  Check out this page from the Arbor Day Foundation or this one from Discover Life with drawings that guide you through identifying different types of trees -- or just get a book from the library.  Be sure to notice the different kinds of shapes the leaves have as well as what tree they came from.  (A book showing trees as well as leaves would be perfect.)  

To turn this into a math activity, have the students count up how many different kinds of leaves each student found.  Do some graphing about who found how many leaves and/or how many of each kind of leaf was found.  For older students, do a mini bio-blitz try to count the number of trees of each species within a given area. 

Now that you have all those leaves laying about, be sure to scroll down this page for great leaf arts and crafts projects.

 

Fall Science Challenge

This worksheet helps students review and test their knowledge of fall.

 

Apples and Seasons

This lesson plan uses the book The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Treeby Gail Gibbons to teach seasonal changes.   Includes instructions for story discussion plus a fun art project that reinforces the lesson about the different seasons.  (Pre-k through - kindergarten)

 

How to Build a Squirrel Nestbox or Feeder

 

Squirrel Facts

This comprehensive site also includes a page of history , photos, games, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Math

 

Graphing Fall Leaves

Students gather fall leaves, sort and count them according to color, and then create a bar graph to display the results.

 

Favorite Apple Survey and Graphing

Print the survey form (or make your own) and then ask people to name their favorite kind of apple.  (A variety of apples could be purchased, and then sliced into small pieces for taste testing.  For example:  Granny Smith, Macintosh, Golden Delicious, etc.)   Then tally up the results.   Which was the most popular apple?  Least favorite?   Now print the bar graph form and fill it in with your information so everyone can easily see the results of the survey.

 

Math Worksheets   

Just select the age and type of problems you need (addition, multiplication, etc.)

 

 

 

Games & Fun

 

Apples Word Search

 

Bobbing for Apples

To play this game you'll need an extra, extra large bowl (try a party supply store for an inexpensive version) as well as an assortment of apples, and of course water.   To bob for apples, your hands must remain behind your back while you bend over the bowl and try to catch the apples with your teeth only.   Then the apple must be dropped into another bowl, or a basket, towel, etc. before going back for the next apple.  Let kids take turns to see who can get the most apples.   For older children, use a timer and see who can get the most in the allotted time -- or time them to see how long it takes each child to get all the apples.    For more fun, have two bowls side by side and let kids race, two at a time, to see who can clear their apples first.  

Please note, this is not an ideal activity for a classroom setting as there will be considerable germ sharing.   But for an at home event, where no one has a cold... it's great fun.  Especially if you have video recorder rolling.

play an online bobbing for apples game

 

 

Scarecrow Songs & Theme Unit   

You'll find songs, games, poems and more in this lesson plan for pre-k and kindergarten.

 

Scarecrow Word Search

 

Scarecrow Dress Up Game

More online fun.

 

 

Fall Arts & Crafts Ideas

 

Apple Prints

This activity can be adapted for any age, toddler through adult, for a fun fall craft.    It's really easy to do, very hands on sensory for the kids, and it looks great!

For this craft you need:

  • apples of various sizes (if working with preschoolers, use small apples -- to fit into small hands!)

  • tempra paint (or fabric paint)

  • something to make prints on (paper, paper plates, an old light colored table cloth, a white T-shirt, etc.)

  • old metal pie plate or old jelly roll pan (can be covered with foil for easier clean up) -- or paper plates

  • Old newspapers or other covering to protect your work table and floor.

 

bag

Slice the apples in half, slicing some from top to bottom and some crosswise to create a fun variation of shapes.   Select your paint colors.  You may want to use traditional "apple" colors like red, yellow, and green.  Be sure to use only a thin layer of paint in your paint tray.  Now gently press the flat, cut side of the apple into the paint, and then press it onto your paper or cloth surface.  If you are making a cloth project -- such as a T-shirt, tablecloth, or tote bag -- you will want to practice your print making on paper first!  This will help you get a feel for just how much paint to use and hard to press.

After your project dries, you can embellish it by painting on some little leaves and stems.  Or better yet, you might try adding some leaf prints or gluing on some actual leaves (dried or silk)

 

Corn Prints

This is a fun project for young kids to experiment with color mixing and texture.  

For this project you need:

  • fresh ears of corn, peeled and washed

  • tempra paints

  • large size paper

Cover your table with old newspaper, and then squirt one color of tempra paint into each paper plate or container.  Roll an ear of corn in a color of paint, then roll it onto the paper -- just like using a rolling pin to roll out cookies.   Now repeat with another color.   Use 2 or 3 colors that mix well.  For example, try primary colors (red, #0066CC, yellow) to create shades of purple, green, and orange.    Let dry. 

Note:  easel paper or old newspaper for this project to create homemade wrapping paper for upcoming holidays.

 

Corn Husk Dolls

Use these great instructions to make your own corn husk dolls.  Just be sure to save your corn husks and let them dry first!

For some other ways these can be made, click here or
here.

 

 

How to Make Dried Flowers 

Dried flowers are a wonderful home decoration all by themselves, or use them as the basis for creating lovely crafts for gifts or holiday decorations.

 

Pumpkin Seed Art

Don't know what to do with all those pumpkin seeds you scooped out?  Well, you could roast them on a tray in the oven for eating ... or... you could just dry them and use them to make interesting collage art.  Draw simple shapes on paper, like a flower, and glue the dried pumpkin seeds on to fill up the shapes or follow the lines.  Make silly faces, strange designs, or a big creepy crawly spider for Halloween!  When you're done, you can paint your art work.

Variation:  paint the dried seeds first!  Then glue the colored seeds onto your design.  This technique is called mosaic.

 

Art & Lesson Plan Ideas for Fall

 

Autumn Coloring Pages

 

More Fall Themed Art Activities

   

Handprint Leaf Wreath

 

Fall Leaves -- Patterns for Printing and Cutting

Print out these leaf patterns then use them for coloring projects or as patterns for cutting out construction paper, crumpled paper bag material, or cloth.   Click here for more ideas.

 

Fall Leaves Collage

This is an art activity that can be coupled with a neighborhood "nature walk" to gather the necessary leaves.  The leaves must be completely dry however, so make sure that they sit out on some newspaper to dry a day or two if they are damp.  Choose some nice fall colors for your background, like orange, brown, red, or even purple.  Have your child glue the leaves to the paper.  Don't worry if he decides to crumble them and sprinkle them on this way -- it's all about exploration.  Other elements that could be added to the project include acorns or dried seed pods, glitter or fall-themed confetti sprinkles, or even feathers, natural or dyed.   Paint could be incorporated as well.  Your child could first "do a fall painting" (whatever that means to him or her) and then, when dry, glue on the leaves.  Or the paper could be stamped/painted with either sponged shapes or cookies cutters that have been dipped in paint.  Another option is to let your child paint the collage, after the glue has dried.  Experiment!

 

More Fall Collage Ideas

Fall is a great time to visit the garden for flowers and leaves that have dried.  Nature walks too may have yielded an interesting collection of dried seed pods, feathers, leaves, acorns, pinecones, and etc.  All of these items can be combined into beautiful collages.  But while young children will be contact with simply gluing these items onto construction paper or cardboard pieces, older children can find more of a challenge by using their finds to create a beautiful scene.  Items from nature can be combined with scraps and materials found around the home, including glitter and paint.  

Thus an older child could make whimsical collage images of strange creatures, using dried flowers and seeds and pipe stem cleaners.  Or a beautiful 3-D garden with sand or gravel path winding along a cardboard backing amidst clumped arrangements of dried flowers with dried moss atop sticks serving for trees.  A little paint and glitter on the dried flowers will bring out new splashes of color. 

 

Leaf Prints  

 

Leaf Stenciling 

 

Leaf Rubbings

If you've been collecting leaves, try making leaf rubbings!  Place a sheet of white paper over the leaf or leaves and, using the side of a crayon whose wrapper has been removed, rub the crayon back and forth over the hidden leaf.  Experiment with pressing harder or softer.  Use different kinds of leaves and notice the different shapes and patterns of veins that each has.  If you use a really large sheet of paper, try filling the whole sheet with rubbings of different colors; then save the result to use for gift wrap. 

 

NOTE:  thin paper works best for this activity and tracing paper produces some of the best results.

 

 

 

 












Make Your Own Locker Organizer!  

With some wrapping paper and a small box, like a pop tart box, you can make a handy container for your locker to keep extra pencils, pens, and other supplies.

Decorate Your Notebooks! 

 

Make Your Own Book Jackets  

Great way to make text books more fun!  Note that the "arms" can be used to mark your place in the book, and don't need to be sticking out all the time.

 

Troll Pencil Toppers

To print, color, and attach to the top of your pencil.  Very cute...

 

Personalize Your Back Pack!

Lots of people have really plain back packs -- because their school gives them out free the first day or simply because they need something really large that comes with wheels (and those are usually plain, solid color).  But your back pack doesn't NEED to stay plain!  You can decorate with fabric paints, sew on special patches, sew on pony beads for splashes of color, attach Shrinky Dink Art, or glue on silk flowers using special fabric glue (in the sewing department at Wal-Mart or your local fabric shop).   If you're not in to beads or silk flowers, maybe you have something you like to collect that could inspire your backpack.  Many different small objects can be either sewn on with needle and thread to glued on with fabric glue.

 

Shrink Art Back Pack Tags 

A great way to personalize and decorate your backpack -- plus it will help people know who it belongs to!  Don't forget to add your name, your homeroom number... 

 

 

Print Your Own Beautiful Seashell Bookmarkers

Use some cardstock or use regular paper and cut and glue onto something thicker.  This is an excellent way to use old cereal or cracker boxes as a cheap source of think but stiff cardboard.  Glue one image to each side, finish the edges with a bit of glitter paint.

 

Back to School Paper Dolls

Blond - Brown - Black - Red-haired

 

 

 

 

Columbus Day Activities!  

 

 

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