I love Autumn. The change of the colours of trees. The drawing in of the evenings. Some people don’t like leaving and returning from work in the dark; me too, but those days where you catch those lovely autumnal sunsets and sunrises with that deep red winter sun are just simply beautiful.
The change of the season gives you lots of new learning opportunities too, so here are ten things to do with your class now it’s Autumn…
- Take your class outside and gather fallen leaves. These make for great border edges on displays and can be coloured with paint. You can use them too to teach lots of science elements such as photosynthesis, leaf structure and more. They can be really useful too for teaching things such as symmetry, repeating patterns and much more.
- Other elements of fallen foliage can really help too. I remember as a kid loving collecting conkers but these little bad boys can be used for far more than just smashing at each other on pieces of string. How about using them to help kids count, learn multiplication tables, pickle for learning about embalming or mummification. They aren’t just for planting!
- Autumn is a great time for colour. Using apps such as Adobe Colour (which can look at photos and pick out palettes for painting) you can get your children thinking carefully about their pieces of artwork and how they can use these colours to create lovely autumnal scenes either digitally or by hand, analogue style.
- Other things you can do with colours include linking it to the creative writing of your pupils. Gather the names of colours and ask the pupils to use the names of the colours to help with their descriptive writing. This is particularly helpful when asking children to write poetry. Why not ask your pupils to write a poem about Autumn using the colour information to develop their writing. You could even use some of those leaves we talked about above!
- The change in season also brings a change in the sorts of natural food stuffs that are available. One of my overriding memories of my childhood is blackberry picking and then enjoying my spoils as part of a delicious apple and blackberry crumble. Why not take your pupils blackberry picking, or – if that’s not appropriate, why not enjoy some down time picking some yourself to take in to cook with your pupils and enjoy some scrummy blackberry and apple crumble as part of your DT learning in school? If you do – let me know, I’ll be there before you can say ‘custard’!
- It is that harvest time of year too. A time for us all to be thankful; so they say. There are many great resources for teaching about harvest and how it fits. Many faith linked schools have years of heritage in celebrating harvest in their learning. There are lots of resources shared online linked to harvest, from vegetable raps to making bread and guessing games. The TES resource site is a good place to look for resources and ideas linked to harvest. This post on the Guardian Teacher network is also really helpful too.
- We will be changing over soon from BST to GMT so now is as good a time as any to be thinking about time within Mathematics too. Addition and subtraction of time, the history of why we change the clocks – all sorts. Knowing how to tell the time is an essential skill covered by the national curriculum in Primary and there are lots of opportunities for studying time across the Reception to Y6 band. Why not cover it in a timely fashion (pun intended) and look at it now.
- Set up an iPad or tablet by your classroom window and use an App such as iMotion (free) to record a photograph every hour or so. Leave it plugged in and doing that for a month and at the end of the time, use the App to then stitch it together in to a video. Result? An awesome time-lapse video that will showcase the change in weather and the colour of the tress and other flora and fauna in the area. Nice.
- Have you got a wildlife area? Set up a bird feeder or other feeding stations and ask different children every day for a few weeks to go out and record the wildlife that comes in and feeds from the feeder. This could feed (pun intended) in to lots of different learning scenarios.
- Why not create a wall chart to record the temperature every morning and leave a bucket outside to measure rainfall and add that data to the chart too. Not only could that lead to a great sequence of Mathematics lessons but there’s plenty of opportunity to explore the use of ICT there too. The students could even create their own Autumn focussed infographic based upon their school and local area in Autumn.
- More of a thunk than anything else, but what if there was a 5th season. What would that be like?
And finally… Why not have an Autumn day at your school where students wear autumnal colours to raise money for charities that offer aid in countries where they don’t experience Autumn like we do.
I hope you found these ideas helpful and sorry I couldn’t stick to ten. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of ideas too. Why not share them with me in the comments.
For now, over and out!