are your students' ideas about seasons and change? Find out and then invite
the class to become seasonal sleuths in their schoolyard and neighborhood!
by having them observe these four seasonal photos. You can click on the
photos and print them or have students look at large versions online.
photo includes the same questions. Discuss them as a class, have students
write responses, or get small groups to discuss them before sharing
their ideas with the class. Finally, ask students to put the photos
in order as they see fit.
1. Use students'
observations and ideas as a springboard for discussion. As you explore
their notions about seasons and change, ask some of these questions:
sounds, colors, smells, and sights are part of _____ (season)? (Create
a class chart.)
things do you do during _____ (season) (such as play certain sports
or celebrate holidays)?
does _____ (season) make you feel? What do you like or dislike
things tell you that seasons are changing? (For instance, How do
we know when we're going from fall to winter?)
_____ (season) in our community look different than it does in
the picture? How? Why do you think it's different?
changes do you notice happening to plants in _____ (season)? to
do you think will happen to our tulips over the winter? In the
2. Use this
this chart (or create a class-size one) to track changes every month
or two beginning in the fall. Fill out as many categories as are practical.
Print a new chart for each round of observations.
students keep track of and reflect on seasonal changes in their own tulip
gardens and school grounds, start to ask them questions that help them
make connections between different factors (e.g., a change in weather
and appearance of buds or insects).
Deeper: Seasonal Walk
taking your students on a fall walk in the neighborhood so they can see,
hear, and otherwise experience the season. Bring along containers, such
as paper bags and jars, clipboards and pencils, drawing paper, hand lenses,
thermometers, and so on. Have students draw and otherwise record seasonal
signs they uncover. Invite them to bring back appropriate items to further
examine and discuss in the classroom. (See Collector's
that students can discuss changes in weather, natural events, and other
factors associated with the seasons. They should begin to understand
that spring changes in temperature (as the earth is warmed by the sun)
is behind most of these changes.
Science Education Standards (K-4)
- Ask a
question about objects, organisms, events.
simple equipment/tools to gather data and extend senses.
- Use data
to conduct a reasonable explanation.
and animals have life cycles.
changes from day to day and over the seasons.
- The behavior
of individual organisms is influenced by internal cues (such as hunger)
and by external cues (such as a change in the environment).