Autumn Leaves are Falling Unit Study
Collecting Autumn Leaves
Hands-on Learning Activities to Celebrate the Fall Season
Leaves are crunching below your feet and geese are flying overhead. It's time to gather in the pumpkins and munch on crisp ripe apples.
Watch the squirrels gather nuts and the birds fight over the sunflower seeds. Fall is here and learning is all around.
Listen to the carousel as a young girl reads Chris L. Demarest's poem of the sights and and sounds of a crisp fall day.
This Autumn Unit Study finds learning activities falling from the trees and hidden inside apples. They are counted in the sunflower seeds and written in the applesauce.
Help the squirrels count their acorns and sort leaves by colors.
You will find fun, hands-on autumn themed activities to celebrate the fall season.
Use all five senses to explore the sights and sounds of Fall...
As Autumn Leaves Fall - Playing in the Autumn Leaves
Raking the Leaves
Children love to help rake leaves. When the winds blow a dry cool breeze bundle up just enough to go outside with rakes and bushel baskets. Even the youngest children love to help rake leaves.
Fill bushels and bushels of leaves and then dump them into a huge pile. Oh, what fun it is to jump in the leaves.
Are you looking for more fun, hands-on autumn themed projects? Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf Extension Activities | Scholastic.com
Creating Fairy Houses in the Fall
Have you ever gone on a walk through the woods looking for natural fallen objects to turn into fairy houses? One day we walked out to the waterfall picking up pebbles, seeds, leaves and acorns. We found moss on the side of a stream and dozens of pine cones scattered beneath an evergreen tree.
When we got down to the waterfall we found rounded pebbles smoothed by the tumbling water.
Gathering all these items we went back to the stonewall to find the perfect place for a fairy house. We used the moss for a carpet. The pebbles became chairs and a table. The pine cones became a hedge leading up to the new fairy house.
These Acorn People became our inspiration for the little elves we created to populate our fairy house.
Gather Nuts in the Fall - Autumn is the time to collect Acorns
Collecting Acorns for Autumn
Acorns are a great material for counting and sorting but you can also use them as cups and saucers for dolls. The tops usually pop right off from the acorns. Use the tops for plates, saucers or bowls.
Acorns grow on Oak Trees and fall off in the autumn. When you walk out into the woods, look under an oak tree and you will find hundreds of them.
Pretend to be squirrels collecting acorns. Use the acorns to:
- add and subtract
- as cups and saucers
- put a needle and string through them to create necklaces or garlands to decorate Christmas Trees.
Fall Leaves Crunch - Learning to read the color words of fall.
Red Leaf in Autumn
Photo Credit: Green Autumn Leaf on WPClipart
Photo Credit: Red Autumn Leaf on WPClipart
Turn fallen dried leaves into natural glitter in this fun Autumn Unit Study.
1. On a nice fall day go outside and collect some leaves.
2. When you come back in, separate them into piles of red or green leaves.
3. Leave the leaves out to dry.
4. After a few days put one color of leaves in one sensory table and the other color in another sensory table. (Dishpans will do.)
5. Show the children how to make the leaves crunch and crumble.
6. Make large outlines of the letters in the words red and green.
7. Give one letter to each child.
8. The child covers the letter in glue and then sprinkles the crushed leaves onto the glue.
9. When the glue has dried assemble the words and post.
I use this activity during center time and have parent volunteers help children with the gluing.
Learn how scientists explain why autumn leaves change color in the fall.
Pixie in the Leaves - Pixies have fun in the Autumn Leaves
Jumping in the Autumn Leaves
Your children will love to join this little pixie jumping in the autumn leaves. Listen to them crunch and crackle underfoot. Rake the the multi-colored autumn leaves into piles, run and jump and pile them up again. Children get lots of exercise without even noticing when the leaves begin to fall.
Autumn Leaf Graphing
- The Poetry Archives
In search of a long lost poem? Remember only a fragment? Post here!
Come Little Leaves - by George Cooper
"Come, little leaves," said the wind one day,
"Come over the meadows with me, and play...
Print the poem, Come Little Leaves by George Cooper, on poster board and laminate it. Most of the words in this poem are on the Dulch List of high frequency words. These are words that will be most helpful for children to as they begin to learn to read.
In the poem you will find the color words: red, gold and brown. You can help the children learn the color words by giving them matching colored dry erase markers to trace over the letters.
You can also go outdoors, collect autumn leaves, and then sort them by color. You can create a grid on an old window shade using black electrical tape for the lines.
Fall Leaf Poem
Poems for an Autumn Unit Study
There is also a delightful poem for autumn from Hubbards Cupboard which teaches young children color words using autumn leaves.
These poems are a wonderful way to include language arts activities in your Autumn Unit Study.
Make up a tunes to these poems and sing them in the car on the way to soccer practice in the fall.
Write the words on large poster paper, one verse per page.
Read them with pointers. To help children start to notice words you can use dry erase markers to draw leaves around the word leaves, color the color words their color, etc.
Understand the color of leaves in the Fall - Why do leaves change color in the Fall?
Exploring the Colors of Autumn
- Color the top edge of a piece of coffee filter paper with a brown watercolor marker.
- Put the edge of the coffee filter paper in a jar of water and allow the water to seep up to the marks you made.
- The colors will begin to separate.
- Watch for red, green, and yellow
When leaves change color in the fall, green from chlorophyll is no longer being produced so the other colors are shining through.
Go outdoors and see if you can find leaves that show all the same colors as the marker did. Can you see leaves that show some green fading into yellow or red?
- "Discover Hidden Leaf Colors"
Discover Hidden Leaf Colors is a science project for kids that brings fall colors out of spring leaves. Learn about this science project for kids.
Sunflower Seeds ripen in the Fall - Autumn Sunflower Math Activity
Sunflowers ripen in the fall. Each sunflower contains hundreds of seeds that grow in a pattern known as the Fibonacci Sequence. In the autumn, birds love to gobble up the ripe seeds. Today we will be doing math problems using sunflower seeds while pretending that we are feeding the birds.
Make mathmats with a sunflower on the left hand side and birds on the other.
- Children put 5 sunflower seeds on the sunflower.
- The birds have no sunflower seeds.
- 5+0=5 seeds all together.
- One sunflower seed falls to the ground.
- 4 sunflower seeds on the sunflower plus 1 sunflower seed on the ground equals 5 sunflower seeds all together.
Continue on with the rest of the seeds.
How to count the spirals of a Sunflower
Toddler collage-- tinted glue and beans and rice
Sunflower Seeds Crafts for Fall - Autumn Sunflower Math Manipulatives
Create mosaics from sunflower seeds, corn kernels and other seeds liked by the birds. Glue them on with peanut butter and leave them out for the birds to eat. What a fun project for you and your children and a great treat for the birds!
Weigh and measure the seeds before you make your mosaic. Compare the weight of the sunflower seeds, corn kernels and Niger Seeds. Draw a one inch square and count the number of seeds that it takes to fill the space completely. Make a ratio of the number of sunflower seeds to corn kernels. Math fun in the fall!
Geese form V's in the Fall Sky - Bird Migration
Flying Goose Stamp
Geese Fly South in the Autumn
Notice how Canadian Geese gather together and begin to fly south in the fall. Listen to them honking to each other. What do you think they are saying?
Look at the shape formed by the geese as they fly. This is the letter V.
- Make outlines of the letter V,
- Children use the flying goose stamp to stamp the letter V.
With an adult helper you might ask the children to stamp each V ten times. That way you could count the geese by 10's. For younger children I put ten dots along the V shape for them know where and how many to stamp.
Apples Fall from Trees in Autumn - Look what's hidden inside a Fall Apple!
Over the course of the year take trips to an apple orchard. Take lots of pictures as they will come in handy as you illustrate books and poems you write.
Think about the orchard using all five senses as you explore. Compare the smell of the apple blossoms in the spring to the smell of the apples in the fall. Do the leaves feel differently when they first start to grow compared to those that have fallen to the ground in the fall?
Fall is the time to pick some apples. This is the time of year that they are crisp, juicy and perfect for eating. When you come back from your trip, look for the star that is hidden in every apple.
Apples are my favorite snack-
all juicy, red, and round.
I love how every tasty bite
comes with a crunchy sound.
Apple Star - Star inside the Apple
Star inside the Apple
Did you know that you can find a star inside every apple? All you have to do is:
- Cut the apple sideways.
- Hold the apple by the stem and blossom end
- Slip your knife between your fingers.
- Cut the apple open and ... SURPRISE... you find the star!
Children love this autumn time exploration. What a great culmination to a trip to the apple orchard!
Autumn Pumpkin Words - Plastic Pumpkins for Spelling Fall Words
Fill each pumpkin with Scrabble Letters and challenge children to make as many words as possible. One point for each word. Five points for each autumn themed word.
Children work together trying to best their previous scores.
Include a dictionary to help children be sure that they are spelling each of the words correctly as well as to look up and learn more words.
Change the Clocks
Spring Forward, Fall Back