It's funny how the season of Fall is like that, yet things in the classroom zoom up! October is always a fun month with all kinds of Fall activities and Halloween excitement. Yet, as teachers we still manage to engage our students by making learning fun and informative.
I love to talk to students about harvest time. We live in the suburbs but you don't have to drive far to see farms and fields. It's important for children to know the hard work that is involved at the harvest time so that we can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables all season long.
I find that the best way to do this is to involve the students in observations of apples and pumpkins.
The first thing I do is provide a 5 sense for Fall activity where students use their senses to identify sounds, smells, things they touch and taste as well as hear in the Fall. Some items I provide and some we find on a walk outside. (Not only is this great for Science, it's also great for building a great Fall vocabulary for writing and it is teaching students mindfulness!)
Next, I provide apples for the kids to observe and use printables from my Write About Science unit for students to record their observations. I provide different kinds and colors of apples. Some I leave whole and some I cut so that they can see the insides as well. The discussions are so much fun to listen to!
After we have observed some apples we discuss the lifecycle of the apple. I do this after we observe them so that they are more inquisitive and know what I am talking about. We then go back and do a few more observations.
The 4 animals for October are spiders, bats, cats and squirrels. There are literacy activities that are differentiated for a few different levels (from printing the word spiders to completing sentences and reading passages) Students also get to learn and label the body parts of the animals. When students are done they have a nice little booklet.
Towards the end of the month, students get so excited about Halloween that I love to use my Halloween Writing Centers. I have used it right on Halloween day and students had so much fun writing while in costume. I was amazed at the focus!