Posts Tagged ‘activities with pumpkins’


Fall and Autumn Science Activities For The Early Childhood Classroom

on October 6, 2010 in Hands-On Science Explorations by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski Comments Off on Fall and Autumn Science Activities For The Early Childhood Classroom

There’s a crisp coolness in the air this time of year, and as you look around there are noticeable changes that fall is here. Teachers are keen to integrate science explorations that connect to seasonal changes throughout the year. There are endless hands-on science explorations that can be implemented with ease and inexpensively within the early childhood and primary level classroom to reinforce fall and autumn science concepts. The most evident noticeable change during autumn is the changing of fall foliage. The beautiful colors that emerge from leaves as the production of chlorophyll slows down and eventually stops. In a relatively short time the chlorophyll disappears completely, and the other existing pigments that are normally masked by the chlorophyll are seen:
Xanthophylls- yellow pigments;
carotenoids- orange pigments; and
anthocyanins- red and purple pigments.
There are endless hands-on science explorations/investigations to conduct to reinforce fall and autumn science concepts. During my teacher training workshops teachers are actively engaged in conducting hands-on explorations to investigate fall and autumn science concepts. These explorations can be readily implemented within the classroom, and are meaningful, inquiry-based explorations. During a recent hands-on science presentation I conducted at a local voluntary pre- kindergarten school I set up numerous hands-on centers that reinforced fall and autumn science concepts. I cover any science concepts that a student may observe during the months of October through November. Not only the very obvious fall and autumn science concepts but also science concepts that are related to Halloween themes such as bats, spiders, insects, and the human skeleton. Students rotated through the fall and autumn science centers, actively engaged in discovering and exploring fall and autumn science concepts. Suggested fall and autumn science centers may include:

  • Observing and studying samples of real and synthetic fall leaves;
  • Raking fall leaves;
  • Making leaf rubbings of fall leaves;
  • Make a fall leaf plant press;
  • Observing and studying fall fruit and vegetables;
  • Sorting, matching, and weighing fall fruit and vegetables;
  • Observing and studying the seeds of fall fruits and vegetables;
  • Sorting, matching, and weighing the seeds of fall fruits and vegetables;
  • Weigh pumpkins;
  • Count the lines on a pumpkin;
  • Cut a pumpkin open and let the students feel the inside of the pumpkin;
  • Count how many seeds are in a pumpkin;
  • Bake the pumpkin seeds and eat the seeds;
  • Make predictions as to whether fall fruits and vegetables float or sink (pumpkin, squash, apples, etc..);
  • Discuss why the fall fruits and vegetables float or sink;
  • Making a fall fruit and seed bracelet or necklace using masking tape or clear laminating material (place pumpkin, squash, acorn seeds, etc.. onto tape or laminating material);
  • Plant fall fruits and vegetables- allow each student to plant their own seeds in a small cup, etc.;
  • Plant a fall fruit or vegetable garden in the schoolyard;
  • Take a fall autumn nature walk around the school yard, have your students make observations of the seasonal changes. Have them record and draw their observations;
  • Record fall and autumn temperatures, wind speed and direction, rain fall;
  • Have students draw pictures of the fall and autumn clouds;
  • Have a model bat center- where students are able to explore the characteristics of bats;
  • Human Skeleton center – where students are able to touch and explore the human skeleton via a model, I also use a dis-articulated human skeleton and students attempt to try and put together the entire human skeleton;

The above hands-on science centers should be a good start for implementing some educational, inquiry-based, and meaningful hands -on science centers in your classroom to introduce and reinforce fall and autumn science concepts to your students. The following photos are from a recent hands-on fall science program I conducted. Check out my teacher training workshop entitled Young Nature Explorers under the teacher training pages of this website. During the Young Nature Explorers teacher training workshop teachers are actively engaged in exploring life and environmental science concepts, as well as fall and autumn science concepts. Additionally, I offer life and environmental teacher training workshops for intermediate through high school level teachers.

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activities

Fall and autumn science classroom activitiesFall and autumn science classroom activities

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