Please see the link for my assessment below.Autumn is Final one.docFall Rubric.doc
Learning Context/ Introduction
This is a learning experience that will help students gain a better understanding of the seasons, particularly autumn. This unit is done at the beginning of the year and we have talked about what makes each student special. For this learning experience, we are going to be talking about what makes autumn special. They will be using technology by interacting with a SMART Board to sort and classify seasonal pictures.
30-minutes for 5 days
What makes autumn special?
Many of the activities are being done as a group during our morning meeting time. All of the students will come to the carpet where the SMART Board is in place. Any students that need extra help will be placed next to the teacher. For those students who have weak fine motor skills and their picture is not "recognizable," they will describe their picture to the teacher.
This will be done during our morning meeting time. We will read a different book each day and discuss it, as well as do some type of activity such as a poem, fingerplay, etc.
Prior to Day 1, we will be going for a walk on the school's nature trail to look for signs of autumn. Students will be experiencing many autumn activities during center time throughout the entire week. They will be painting leaves in the painting center. In the math center, they will be sorting and classifying real leaves they collected on the nature trail. They will be making patterns with pumpkin, apple, and leaf manipulatives in the small motor center. In the art center, they will be drawing their own autumn tree which they can choose to create any way they want (using crayons, markers, torn colored tissue paper, real crumpled up leaves, sponge painting, etc.).
- Read the book When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass.
- We will be creating a graphic organizer talking about some characteristics of autumn. We will be creating this on our SMART Board in the classroom (see attached SMART Notebook file below).
- We will be revising this graphic organizer and/or adding to it throughout the week.
- Read the book Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert.
- Read the poem “Colored Leaves.” (Found in the SMART Notebook file.) The children will guess the rhyming word to fill in the poem.
- After discussion, revisions will be made to the graphic organizer - if needed.
- Read the book Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro and Loretta Krupinski.
- Have some autumn leaves that you have collected (or that the children could have picked up while walking the nature trail). Have enough leaves so that each child can hold one to look at it.
- Have a discussion – how do the leaves feel, smell, look like?, etc.
- Again, we will see if we need to make any additions and/or revisions to our graphic organizer.
- Read the book Growing Apples and Pumpkins by Amy Hutchings and Richard Hutchings.
- Have a real pumpkin to look at. Have the children come up and feel the pumpkin. Have students describe the pumpkin – what does it look like, shape, color, texture, etc.
- Now cut off the top and scoop out the insides. Again, let the children come up and feel. Look at the seeds and talk about how pumpkins come from seeds, etc.
- You can either give each child some seeds to take home and grow their own pumpkins, or roast them in the oven for the children to taste.
- Additions and/or revisions to our graphic organizer will be made if needed.
- During our morning meeting, we will be reviewing and discussing all of the things that we have learned about autumn throughout the week.
- Hand out the writing paper “Autumn is…” (this can be found under assessment).
- Tell the students that they will be coming up to the teacher and completing the sentence starter.
- They will go back to their tables and draw a picture that goes along with what they said.
- Have the students go back to their tables. They may start their autumn pictures while they are waiting to be called up to say their sentences to the teacher.
Reflections and Feedback
I was happy with this unit. I felt that it went well. One thing that I have found out is that the SMART Board really helps to engage children in your lessons. My students love it when I turn on our SMART Board and come right over to the rug. They are excited to see what we will be doing with it. For this unit, they loved being able to come up and physically touch the pictures to sort them. Also, by having the graphic organizer on our SMART Board, everyone was able to see it from where they were seated, which promotes engagement and participation.
I really liked the fact that our school has a nature trail. This really helped to bring Autumn into the classroom. If I were to change anything, I would have actual pumpkins in the science area for the children to explore with magnifying glasses, scoops, etc. I would cut open pumpkins for them to truly experience a pumpkin. If I did this closer to our Fall Fun Day, the children could paint faces on pumpkins as well. You really can extend on this topic by going on a field trip to a local pumpkin patch, apple orchard, etc. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to go on any field trips.
Using the SMART Board, the children will complete a sorting activity as a group. Average Work 1.docHigh Work.docLow Work.doc
At the beginning of the year, students do not write in their journals. They do draw pictures and dictate to teachers who do the writing. Then, they read it back using their finger while pointing to the words (one-to-one correspondence).
At the end of the week, the students will complete the sentence starter "Autumn is....." and draw a picture showing at least one characteristic of autumn.
Please see the link for my student work below.
- SMART Board and SMART Notebook file
- Autumn writing paper and
- The following books:
- When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass (ISBN 0805023496)
- Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert (ISBN 0590465171)
- Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro (ISBN 0590621548)
- Growing Apples and Pumpkins by Amy Hutchings (ISBN 0439223520
- Video-www.unitedstreaming.com: "Magical Mother Nature: The Four Seasons, Part 3: Autumn/Fall (02:28)