Fall is more than just pumpkin spice latte season; it's also one of the best times of year for teachers to engage their students. This blog post will tell you the four reasons why.
Fall Into Learning
What's the best time for learning? Trick question: always. But also, the fall season. Put on your scarf, brew up some hot tea, and read about why fall is the perfect time of year to engage students in your classroom. Hint: it has to do with leaves.
1. It's a Time for New Beginnings
Because schools usually start in the fall, the season has come to be associated with new beginnings. As you probably know all too well, 'back to school' has even grown into its own fall holiday. When the temperatures drop and the leaves start changing, students are able to let go of summer and settle into the routine of learning again. Their bodies are basically conditioned to it at this point. Take advantage of the new school year energy, when your students are excited about seeing each other and buying fun new folders, to set the tone for an engaging new school year. This is the best time to establish new classroom routines and habits that will serve you and your students for the rest of the year.
2. Seasonal Opportunities to Learn
With fall comes a myriad of natural phenomenon that are perfect learning opportunities for your classroom. You can teach your students about the science behind the changes in deciduous trees' leaves. The topic of the autumnal equinox is a great lead-in to units on astronomy. Talking about fall as a time of harvest ties in to many history and botany lessons. And what about the etymology of the word 'fall'? After all, it's the only season with two names. Why do we call it fall (or autumn)? Heck, even pumpkin spice is a learning opportunity in the realm of economics, marketing, and branding. There are interesting (and delicious) things to teach all around!
3. The Classroom is Everywhere
One of the reasons fall is many people's favorite season is because it's a great time to spend both inside and outside. Chill, crisp days make curling up in a warm room (even classroom!) feel nice and cozy, but the outdoors offers up opportunities for such fun activities as nature walks, apple picking, corn mazes, and so on. Our point here is that both environments are appropriate for learning at this time of year. The weather will still allow you to take your students out on field trips and teach outdoor lessons, but your students will also be excited to come back inside to learn in a warm classroom, especially if you decorate it with coziness in mind.
4. Holidays for Fun (And Education!)
Fall is full of holidays that make for great learning opportunities. It starts with Labor Day, which might not be a common favorite holiday, but does lead into some important lessons about history and the economy. Halloween comes next, which your students will probably be buzzing about. Consider throwing a classroom Halloween party and teaching lessons about topics such as history, nutrition, and social skills. And finally, Thanksgiving is a holiday with many historical facets that can be broken down into multiple lesson plans or even an entire unit.
Ultimately, the entire year is a perfect time to learn but, as you can see, fall is particularly 'ripe' (get it??) for learning. Good luck!
Looking for engaging online educational materials to share with your students? Check out Study.com's library of over 70,000 lessons for every grade level.