Whether you teach preschoolers or elementary students, there are a variety of STEM-related questions and activities that you can include in your fall lesson plans. From tracking pumpkin decay to counting leaves, you can keep students engaged by incorporating the items they see in their environment into your instructional strategy. Here are a few ways you and your students can enjoy fall while also learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics:
- Talk with children about the changing leaves. As a class, investigate why leaves change color, why they fall off trees, and why they fall from trees slowly instead of quickly.
- Incorporate leaves and pumpkins into word problems for math. Leaves and pumpkins can also be used to teach counting, sorting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions.
- Have children design and build a haunted house, scarecrow, or mummy.
- Visit a pumpkin patch to learn how pumpkins grow. You can also have children research pumpkins online and come up with questions they want to ask employees at the pumpkin patch.
- Encourage children to create a template with a computer program for carving/painting pumpkins.
- Help children discover what happens when a pumpkin rots by having them take a picture of the pumpkin daily and write down their observations in a journal. Once the pumpkin has rotted, have them make a digital version of their observations.
- Encourage children to write fall essays and stories and then bring those stories to life with animation software.
- Discuss the seasonal changes children are noticing. Have children keep track of each day's high and low temperature and other weather-related data.
- Take a walk around the school and talk about what kind of animals and vegetation children will likely see during this time of the year. Discuss why some animals are scavenging for food in preparation for winter.
- Include books about fall and related subjects in your preschool literacy learning center or classroom reading area.
There are even more STEM-related learning opportunities you can include in your fall lesson plans, but this list should help you get started. Be sure to read our other Insights and Inspirations articles for a variety of tips and resources on teaching STEM and other education topics.