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Autumn Leaves are Falling Unit Study

Updated on October 16, 2014

Collecting Autumn Leaves

Pressing leaves between sheets of wax paper
Pressing leaves between sheets of wax paper | Source

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 Fall Leaves
Raking the Fall Leaves | Source

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 |

Acorn People

Acorn People
Acorn People | Source

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

Nuttin' Time
Nuttin' Time | Source

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:

  • count
  • sort
  • 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.

Green Maple Leaf
Green Maple Leaf | Source

Red Leaf in Autumn

Red Leaf in Fall
Red Leaf in Fall | Source

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.

Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2)
Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2)

Learn how scientists explain why autumn leaves change color in the fall.


Autumn Words












Pixie in the Leaves - Pixies have fun in the Autumn Leaves

Pixie Playing in the Leaves
Pixie Playing in the Leaves | Source

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

Create a Color Graph with Leaves
Create a Color Graph with Leaves

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

Gathering Leaves
Gathering Leaves | Source

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?

Autumn Maple Leaves
Autumn Maple Leaves | Source

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?





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.
  • 4+1=5.

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

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!


Apple Picking

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!











1. Blow up pictures of the pumpkin seed and write the letters to words on them.

2. Put the letters to each word in a Mini Plastic Pumpkin.

3. Children can use the seeds to form the pumpkin words.

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

Let's write about the Autumn Season!

What do you do in the fall?

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    • agaglia profile image


      4 years ago

      Wow. What a great hub. You have it all: instruction, video, lots of information, activities, resources. I loved it. thank you for being so thorough and so informative.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      5 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I love the acorn people! Very cute and informative lens. Sounds like fun!

    • sweetstickyrainbo profile image


      5 years ago

      some cute ideas

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Soo pretty...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      good lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      good lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These Hands-on Learning Activities are great and a nice way for kids to learn about the different seasons.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great lens :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice writing.

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image


      6 years ago

      We love to collect leaves and press them, then make a scrapbook to write stories in - or make a collage to decorate the firdge door. Great activities and resources here for Autumn Leaves!

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Stunning lens. Thank you so much. Blessed x

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Keep working, great lens!

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 

      6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      leaves are falling here in rome too...wonderful lens!

    • kaecao profile image


      6 years ago

      Fall is my favorite season. Thanks for sharing.

    • kaecao profile image


      6 years ago

      Fall is my favorite season. Thanks for sharing.

    • bbsoulful2 profile image


      6 years ago

      There's so much in this lens! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • fathomblueEG profile image


      6 years ago

      Bake pumpkin pies or pumpkin bread and enjoy the autumn foliage view with a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows of course:-)

    • thememorybooksh1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful Lens, i really like to go out in fall.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      Beautiful presentation, I love your pictures, resources as well.

      In fall I like to take long walks in our park, have an Oktoberfest with friends.

      Now because I am caregiver for a beautiful Mother, 97 years old, and I know she will not go outside in winter... I am chasing sunny days in September and try to convince her to go outside together.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Loads of fun for the kids. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent stuff here - and I don't do too much terribly different in the fall than the rest of the year. Though, I do go outside more often and enjoy the cool. :) Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image


      6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      Usually watch Hockey But I do rmember making a sheet of fall leaves I found when I was in Pre-K. I just couldn't remember how we did it. I KNow there was something to do with Wax or Parchment paper, and I don't remember if we glued it or what. adding to my favorite lenses lens (& going to see if I can fit it in another lens as well

    • lbuben profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, love the Fall colors!

    • KhairuZiya profile image


      7 years ago

      very informative, thank's for sharing

    • BelleBanks profile image


      7 years ago

      Fall is our favorite season in our house. The acorn people are adorable and would make a cute craft project.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Fall is my favorite season! Festivals, walks in the woods and anything to do with Halloween!

    • profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      7 years ago

      Cool Lens and Lesson; Autumn is my favorite time of year.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 

      7 years ago from Alabama USA

      This look like fun, blessed.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      What a beautiful celebration of autumn. I'm really looking forward to the fall this year. It has been a long, hot summer.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      In the fall, I bemoan the passing of summer and dread the coming of winter, but I also enjoy the fall colors and crisp air. Btw, I remember when apples actually were red and juicy and made a crunchy sound when we bit into them. Haven't had one with all those qualities in a long, long time! Another stellar lens, of course. I expect nothing less, but I do wonder where you find the time.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Another beautiful education experience by you :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens and what great ideas for learning activities. Thank you *blessed*

    • jlshernandez profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing another great learning lens for young and old. Blessed.

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 

      7 years ago

      This is a really cute lens.

    • KayeSI profile image


      7 years ago

      What a fun lens, full of cute and easy crafts for grandkids and grandparents to enjoy together in this lovely season of fall. Thank you.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 

      7 years ago from Guatemala

      Popping by on the Squid Angel bus! Great lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Flew by on the Squid Angels' Bus and alighted briefly to leave some Angel Dust. Blessed. :)

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      7 years ago from USA

      I really enjoy reading your lenses. They have so much creativity in them.

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 

      7 years ago

      I love Autumn and can't wait for it to start. Love your lens.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      7 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I like to iron fall leaves between two sheets of waxed paper, go walking in the mountains, and look for mushrooms. I love your lens. Blessings to you!

    • Mamaboo LM profile image

      Mamaboo LM 

      7 years ago

      I love your lens. It contains everything, that a lens should have. From activities, information and more! Thanks and be blessed

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Another terrific lens. Had this information been around when I was younger... I'd have gone into teaching myself. Looks like fun.

    • SaintFrantic profile image


      7 years ago

      Another great Lens.Thanks for making so exciting

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      great lens for children, I am sure you are a fantastic teacher! I enjoyed reading it

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      8 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Another wonderful teaching resource to add to your collection. You always do an exceptional job on these, and my blessing is well deserved.

    • LTPParents profile image

      Tracy Gibb 

      8 years ago

      Great lense! I loved the poem with the changeable words and leaves.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      I do so enjoy your lenses. I liked the poem too.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a great lens, Evelyn! Your choice of the fall theme really showcases your work... I really enjoyed this lens! Connie

    • evelynsaenz1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Evelyn Saenz 

      8 years ago from Royalton

      This lens is included in the Best Review - Top 10 Unit Studies With An Apple Theme

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens :) I'll lensroll it to my Autumn lens :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      cute lens~very delightful.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 

      9 years ago from Guatemala

      This is great! Since I live in Guatemala, we don't really have fall, but I still want my kids to learn about it, so this could be really handy. Thanks!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      9 years ago

      How delightful. Blessed by an Angel.

    • eccles1 profile image


      9 years ago

      your lenses are always so pretty

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for sharing...great ideas to be done with my children.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      Welcome to the Nature and the Outdoors Group.


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Lovely resource about Autumn/Fall ;) Lensrolled to my Autumn lens and Blessed by an Angel.

    • religions7 profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens as always - blessed by a squidangel :)

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      10 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great lens! Fall is one of my favorite times

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      What a beautiful lens!

      Thanks for sharing.


    • groovyoldlady profile image


      10 years ago

      Usually in Fall we rejoice that the blackflies are gone and we can actually ENJOY being outside again!

    • Mortira profile image


      10 years ago

      A great lens for fall! Welcome to the Four Seasons group!


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