Wednesday, November 09, 2011

apples & pumpkins {and leaves & candy corn...}

I love fall!  Apples, pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving, sweaters, random warm days, bonfires, cider, hayrides, corn mazes...I love it all.  So {of course!} I have to bring it into the classroom as well!  As my entire team loves this time of year, we incorporate fall things into just about everything from September through November.  :)  Rather than repeating similar activities that you've already shared or seen elsewhere, I thought I'd pick just a few to showcase that might hopefully be new or inspire you to make a change to an old favorite.


We started by just using the five senses to see what we could learn from the apples themselves.  I wish I could put up pictures of my kids because they were so funny with the apples right up to their eyes, smelling them intensely and listening so closely I'm surprised no one walked away with a bruised ear!  We used their observations to record in an apple journal that I hung on their cubbies to double as nametags.

We had an apple tasting after learning all about how they grow and what products can be made from them.  I had my students label the parts as I was getting out all of their snacks.  I love a science journal...shows so much info at the end of the year! {Like if you need evidence for a teaching evaluation or some such thing...hint hint!}


We do the same experiments that many of you do but I like to have the kids write in another journal instead of circling answers on a worksheet.  {not that it's bad - don't send hate mail!}  We estimated and double checked how many grooves were on the pumpkin, how much it weighed, how many seeds were inside, how big around it was {using yarn} and if it would sink or float.

While they thought about which jack-o-lantern face to put on the front, we used the SmartBoard to see all of the different options available.

Then we pulled out the seeds to count while also separating the seeds from the guts.  {I mean, come on, you can't be technical with everything.  yuck!}

We had sugar overload from our pumpkin tasting!!


We like to send family homework projects every so often and in fall we always use the Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert to get the ball rolling.  Students are sent with directions and a piece of paper {and a bag of leaves from the school grounds if requested by the parent} for their projects.  I often get a lot of leaf people back but was really pleased with this year's variety!

leaf Rapunzel

leaf dog

leaf snake

{candy corn}
How did I forget about one of my favorite fall things?!  I love the story The little old lady who was not afraid of anything by Linda Williams because I always teach my kids to act out the story as I read {when the shirt shake, shakes and the pants wiggle, wiggle...}  But to work on story sequencing and making predictions I started to retell this story on candy corn outlines!  I only read up to the part when the little old lady goes to answer the door then I stop and do this activity.
The top of the candy corn is the beginning when she goes for a walk.  The middle is the middle where she encounters all of the parts in the forest.  Then they predict what she'll see on the other side of the door by drawing a picture {and writing if able} on the bottom of the candy corn.  Once everyone has made their predictions we read the story again from the beginning {to do the fun motions} and check our prediction to see if anyone was correct!

It's always a favorite.  Hope you enjoy!


  1. The leaf dog!!!!! Omg! Are we still bbff's??

  2. Thank you for sharing your fall ideas they are too cute! I love the little journal books for the five senses.


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