Falling for FALL!

From flip flops last week to freezing winds this week, it may have only FELT like Fall for a few days. But that didn’t stop us from continuing to study the current season and integrating it into our educational activities. Our teachers continuously incorporate sensory play into our weekly themes, which provides endless fun for all involved! Our theme was based on the book “Fall Festival” by Mercer Mayer, one of our absolute favorites.
Pumpkins, apples, leaves, turkeys, scarecrows. . . What do you think of when your mind’s eye takes you to visions of Fall? This is a great question to ask your emerging learners as they become engaged in early childhood experiences.
Did you know that scarecrows were originally created to help farmers keep crows out of gardens by looking “scary”? Asking our students essential questions to gauge their prior knowledge is fundamental to every lesson. From these guiding questions we learn a lot about what students know and don’t know.
Another favorite Fall activity was our science experiment: Dancing Corn. We added kernels of corn to a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar, and watched the corn “dance” in the liquid for over an hour! Children discovered what happens when gases, liquids and air mix together. Be sure to ask your student about it – and if you want the special recipe, let us know!
Children learn through all senses, not just one. To that end, our students made apple-scented playdough! From pulling ingredients and integrating math to working together and practicing teamwork, this experience caused us to enjoy the end-result as much as the fun we had along the way. We also experimented with utilizing our sense of taste when we engaged in a caramel apple tasting. Talk about a fun (and yummy) lesson! Our students made caramel apples that they then decorated.
You better beLEAF it when we say that we also spent a good bit of time outdoors observing and collecting Fall’s signature accessory: leaves. Science and art beautifully came together during this unit of study, and that integration helped our students understand the “why” behind the lessons. Leaves come in all different sizes, shapes and colors, and provide a beautiful color palette. We love using nature’s beauty to create our own through integrating art into our lessons.  Leaf rubbings were a huge hit, and were a great way to replicate the colors we found outside the classroom. We discussed why they change colors in the fall, and also integrated science into the lessons as we explored why there seem to be “spines” on leaves. We finished up our leaf study with a beautiful leaf wreath – we hope you enjoy them as much as we did while watching the children make them!
With Thanksgiving around the corner, we’ve had turkey on our minds quite a lot. We’re counting down the days till we can enjoy our Thanksgiving meal! In preparation for this, we have been working on pumpkin prints and other art projects. We also discovered that if you paint over a shape, it will transfer to another paper. Our favorite part? When the students’ eyes lit up as they learned a new concept.
Thank you for taking the time to catch a glimpse into our world!