Looking for the perfect fall lesson plans and resources for primary? Check out these engaging fall science and non-fiction classroom activities for kids about leaves, pumpkins, apples, and more!
When making your fall lesson plans, do you teach themes to your students?
Do you teach them about each season and the changes and events that occur?
I do too!
I think it’s important that children are aware of their world and that we explore it in many ways through our studies.
Fall Non-Fiction and Science Activities and Lessons
Today, I will share how I teach my students about fall using my fall ELA science unit. These fall lesson plans are a blast for the kids. Before I start our seasonal units, I prepare posters, anchor charts, and materials to help what our study go smoothly. I like to use a lot of visuals as guides and for students to refer back to.
I teach my students about important vocabulary words that they will hear often in text and throughout our study. We use vocabulary posters with real images and clear definitions. I post these on our whiteboard and we refer to them often.
We also use theme word cards that children illustrate with a definition and an illustration. We use non-fiction books about fall and refer to the glossary for definitions. This is great practice in identifying text features.
To learn about fall and its celebrations, harvest, changes, animals, and weather, we read tons of fiction and non-fiction books. We also use fact posters that are full of key facts and interesting information.
We read the posters together as a class and use them to help guide our future lessons. At times, students read and use these posters in small groups to help them complete activities.
During our small group lessons, we complete questions sheets where we have to recall information from the fact posters. We practice writing complete sentences, making personal connections, and making visual observations.
One of the follow-up activities we complete after reading our fact posters is the fact sorting activity. This is a great review activity for students to complete in pairs. Students enjoy cutting and sorting fact sentences about fall under the correct heading (harvest, changes, weather, animals, and celebrations).
Teaching Pumpkin Life Cycle Lesson
Of course any fall lesson plans wouldn’t be complete without a study of pumpkins, apples, and leaves. We learn about all of them individually. I teach my students about a pumpkin’s life cycle. We often take a field trip to the pumpkin patch, so understanding before how a pumpkin grows is very exciting for a kid.
We create a life cycle anchor chart and record each step of the cycle using our pumpkin life cycle poster. Each record each step from our anchor chart in our life cycle mini-books. As a culminating review activity, we cut and paste the steps of the cycle and label.
We create pumpkin life cycle crafts using small pieces that we attach to a string and a paper plate. The paper is the pumpkin and the string is the vine.
We also learn about the parts of a pumpkin, both inside and out. To do this, we bring a pumpkin back from our field trip or I will bring one from the store for us to dissect.
Then, we use anchor charts and headings to make a large visual based on the labeled diagram poster.
Children enjoy adding large labels to the charts we create and color together. We create and colour our own diagram posters after.
Learning about Leaves
I love taking my students outside for a nature walk in the fall. We each have our own bags to collect a few special leaves that have changed color, as well as some other signs of change. Once the bags are filled, we bring our collections back to class and take out our favorite leaves to share with each other. Then, we create our own leaf pictures after reading the book Leaf Man by Ehlert. For a list of all the books we read during our study, see further on in this post.
We complete the same activities and create more anchor charts for leaves as above.
We hold and touch and explore the parts of the leaves we’ve collected from outside. Engagement and retention is much deeper when students are able to use their senses to explore what they are learning.
We practice sorting facts about leaves with partners as a review.
Head HERE to see all of the activities we do with apples, grab a great list of books, and a FREE apple exploration pack.
We create our anchor charts and practice labeling the outer and inner parts of an apple. We also learn that apples come from apple trees and are picked during harvest time.
Since fall is one of 4 seasons, we do a comparison with another season. We sort and compare spring and fall because they are very different in many ways. We cut and paste the similarities and differences in the correct spaces on the Venn Diagram.
During small group time, we make observations and build our use of vocabulary in describing and analyzing fall photos. We make connections, ask questions, and infer meaning from the photos.
The most exciting part of our fall lesson plans is the science experiments we conduct. We do 3 science experiments; one for pumpkins, apples, and leaves. We practice making a hypothesis and we record our observations.
As morning work, we make our fall mini-books. We color and fill in the blanks with the facts we learn about fall.
This book provides a lot of reviews and makes a great final activity.
Here is a book list of fiction and non-fiction titles to help you teach your students about fall.
So now that you have all the fall lesson plans you need, what will you start with first?