Fall is a favorite time of year for many of us, and it offers lots of excellent possibilities for classroom learning.
Scroll down to find links to lots of lesson plans and classroom ideas on the changing weather, football, National Hispanic Heritage Month, Halloween, and more!
Get some books out on your library table. Here are some of our favorites:
- It’s Fall
- When Autumn Comes
- Free Fall
- Every Autumn Comes the Bear
- Mouse’s First Fall
- The Stranger
- The Soup Bone
- The Ox-Cart Man
- The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree
- Apple Picking Time
- Apples and Pumpkins
- Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden
- It’s Pumpkin Time!
- Pumpkin Pumpkin
- Pumpkins: A Story for a Field
- How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
Our fall lesson plans and theme ideas:
- Apple Classroom Theme Ideas
- Owls Classroom Theme
- Spiders Classroom Theme
- Football Classroom Theme
- How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
- Hispanic Heritage Month
- Dia de Los Muertos Lesson Plans
- Halloween Lesson Plans
- Candy Lesson Plans
- Chocolate Lesson Plans
- Pumpkin Lesson Plans
- Thanksgiving Lesson Plans
Need a new bulletin board for the new season?
- Bulletin Boards: Fall is a book of autumn bulletin board patterns for the DIY bulletin board maker.
- Colorful Owls Bulletin Board Set has a bunch of sprightly owls.
- Classroom Fall Tree is a great basic.
- Fall Is Here features cute scarecrows and obviously not scared crows.
For older students, autumn is a great time for poetry. Some of my favorite fall poems in ascending order of difficulty:
- “October’s Party,” by George Cooper
- “Spring and Fall, to a young child” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
- “To Autumn,” by John Keats.
Write them on sentence strips and put them in your classroom pocket chart to work with.
Find more autumnal poetry at Poetry Out Loud. This website has great tips on recitation and a rubric for grading poetry recitation.
I ask students to answer questions after the recite a poem. This gives them motivation to make sure they understand the poem and leads to some excellent discussions.
Autumn gives us a number of natural jumping-off points for science study:
- The Reasons for Seasons are clearly and simply explained at Science U.
- Fall color can be inspire a study of plants. Here is a good lesson on photosynthesis from Newton’s Apple, with a link to a writing prompt on global warming. Here is a thorough lesson plan on the changing colors of leaves.
Here are some more ideas using leaves:
- Put some fallen leaves into glycerin, as you would put flowers into water, and let their stems soak it up. Compare with pressed leaves.
- Press some leaves for the comparison above. An old phone book is perfect for this purpose, or make a press with old newspapers.
- Use both the pressed and the preserved leaves in craft projects.
- Run some autumn leaves through the laminator. Use lots and make a panel to hang before a window.
- Arrange leaves of different shapes and colors to form pictures. Stick the leaves down with Glue Dots. Laminate the pictures.
- Put paper over leaves and color the paper with the side of a crayon for a leaf rubbing. Use the rubbings for nature study and art projects.
- Put bright leaves into an old pillow case and pound them with a hammer. You will have colorful designs.
If you’re studying animals rather than plants, enjoy this simulation of bird migration, focusing on shorebirds. Here is a variation for the younger kids. Here you will find a collection of printable worksheets and information on the subject. All the resources in this group are PDF files.