Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Autumn is HERE!

Each week I set learning objectives as a way to monitor what my kids are learning and what areas need more improvement on my part. During my All About Autumn week I focus on having the children learn and explore the different seasons and the weather changes that come with each one. We also spend a great deal discovering why leaves change colors, what happens when they fall. 

I teach my kids Autumn first, just because that is the season that I introduce this theme. 

We read Leaf Man by Lois Elhert and go on a leaf/nature hunt. I give each child a lunch paper bag and they print their name on it. If they are still not able to print their name  I have them "follow the yellow lines" and write their name with a highlighter. 

I asked the kids what they were going to make with their leaves and documented it for a later activity. 

On our walk we chanted " We're going on a leaf hunt, leaf hunt leaf  hunt" 

Here are some pictures of the things we found. I placed them out with a few magnifying glasses so they could explore the colors, and textures of the different leaves.

Here are a couple of the different things the kids made. 

Leaf Man book craft:

Although I did not do this activity, I thought this was a fantastic way to modify the art project for  children who are younger. Click here to read Playingwithwords365.com take on the Leaf Man Art Project


One of my parents made these fun acorn doughnut holes. 


After collecting their leaves, we had some free play. They loved piling up the leaves, grabbing them and throwing them in the air. 

In small groups I had the children come to the table and pour out the many leaves and nature things they found and picked up. we sorted them by color first and counted. After carefully graphing them, as a group they took a few leaves placed them n order by size, smallest to largest. 

For Math I used this worksheet that I found on learningandteachingwithpreschoolers. The worksheet is FREE. I had the children roll a dice to determine how many leaves would go in their basket/barrel. We reviewed how to read a math equation and proceeded by adding up all the leaves. For the children that needed modification, we rolled a dice and just focused on counting and number recognition. 


For science we briefly explored the different seasons and the changes a tree experiences.  We also learned about the different parts of a tree. I had the same tree on each page and had them color the correct location for: roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. 
Another Art/Science activity the children enjoy doing is leaf rubbing. Its a great way to explore and see the vines of a leaf and various shapes leaves come in. 
TRICK: I tape the leaf to the table so that it doesn't move so much when they are trying to do a leaf rub. 



The children had the opportunity to make their own Autumn tree. All you need is toilet paper rolls, or paper towel rolls cut in half, construction paper, paint and scissors. I had them cut their own "bush" for the top of their trees and paint it with either Q-tips, fingers or puffy ball rings I bought from oriental trading. 

During this activity we reviewed the four season and the changes Autumn brings. 

This is a simple art activity. I had them place as many leaves as they wanted and paint over them with fall colors. 

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