Making Connections with Fall!
Adults like sensory learning too!Right? It was 52 degrees this morning! It actually felt like FALL! There is nothing like fall to heighten your senses. For instance, my sense of taste is about to get a new treat! I just ordered some great new natural creamer. It’s called Prymal. Will post an update with my opinion soon. This is not a paid promotion. It’s just something I want to try. Butter Pecan sounds yummy!!! The big change for me this year is…I’ll actually be able to get out and enjoy more of the fall season! Am super pumped! I loved helping kids connect learning with my favorite season when I was teaching full time! This article is all about sensory ideas to make lasting memory connections with your students.
Connections with ALL the Senses – Sensory Ideas
Fall learning brings trips to pumpkin patches, apple orchards, stories about John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed), and lots of leaves and pumpkins! As teachers, we give students opportunities to experience the season through books, writing and more while immersing them in all things alphabet. These critical skills are so much fun when connected with something personal to students. They are a witness to the changing of the seasons. We cannot miss the amazing opportunities for students to participate in real life events.
Sensory Connections with the Smells of Fall
The smell of wet leaves and earth in the fall are not to be missed! Here are some ideas for helping students experience smells in fall:
- take students out to the playground to gather acorns, leaves, and a scoopful of dirt
- investigate the soil with magnifying glasses, smell it (are there bugs, bits of seeds, grasses, worms?)
- make apple cider (talk about the smell of fall in the spices–or talk about how wonderful the apple juice smells)
- make a pretend campfire: place liquid smoke and hot water in a tray below wood pieces, talk about the smell of a campfire or bonfire
- connect real life experience with camping or the fire pit at home, then journal about it
- collect the fruits of fall (persimmons and pumpkins have distinct smells)
- investigate seeds from persimmons and pumpkins
Seeing the Connections of Fall
Changes in the leaves may not be visible right away, but there are many books that explain the science of why leaves change (bare their true colors when the chloryphyll diminishes). My favorite books are realistic fiction stories that help feed students' inquisitive nature about things around them. This book is amazing. Don't be afraid to share big words in this book with your students, like photosynthesis. How Leaves Change.
Once leaves have changed and begin to fall, you can have some great discussions about migration! I love doing a unit on the monarch butterfly!
Here is an amazing, colorful ABC News segment about monarch migration! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN8-pNnvJ5s
Sensory bins with pine cones, walnuts, dried leaves, acorns, and other things you find in the fall are great ways for kids to learn descriptive language: rough, smooth, shiny, and brittle are just a few of many words kids can learn to describe objects.
Books featuring nocturnal animals are a favorite for the classroom library. Immerse kids in non-fiction, real-life texts!
I usually work a tasting lesson or two into the mix. We have apple tasting, then graph our favorite apples. When pumpkin time arrives, roast the seeds for a wonderful nutty flavor to satisy our sense of taste!
For something you can use right away, here is a previous freebie!
For a quick read (and I’m talking a paragraph!), go to this blog post for an apple labeling freebie! http://maggieskinder.com/2015/10/investigating-apples-a-labeling-freebie.html
This post has come cute ideas for scarecrows, and another labeling freebie! http://maggieskinder.com/2016/09/ahhh-fall-johnny-pumpkins.html
I always have a variety of fall center activites available too! Here is my newest bundled product that includes three literacy and math centers. Students learn about letter sounds, numbers and groups, practice fine motor, and a little science! Fine motor activities allow students to cut/paste responses to letter sounds, or trace text with the color resist method. All great for fine motor!
Have a very Happy Fall!!!
A combination of anchor chart pieces that match the student labeling activities are included in this set. It is a growing set!
To learn about new resources, follow me at http://teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Maggies-Kinder