When you look around your elementary or middle school classroom this back-to-school season, do you see antsy students feeling trapped inside? Offer a change of pace by taking them outside into the nice fall air! This blog post covers some activities you can use for this purpose.
It's Fall - Get Out There!
The beginning of the school year can be a challenge for many reasons. It takes students time to settle into the pattern of learning after a long, fun summer. One approach that might help ease the transition is to give your students opportunities to get out and enjoy the crisp fall weather before it gets too cold to go outside. This strategy can be especially helpful when your students get antsy being indoors all day, especially after spending their summer vacations outside. Check out these five options for outdoor fall activities you can try with your class.
1. Go Apple or Pumpkin Picking
One active field trip is taking your students apple or pumpkin picking in a local orchard or pumpkin patch. This will help your students release some pent-up energy while enjoying the fall weather. They can then take their apples or pumpkins home and make a pie or some cider with their families.
Consider using this as an opportunity for a lesson on:
- Exploring the heredity of different apple and pumpkin species
- Growing food and harvesting
- Investigating the history of farming in your area
2. Go Leaf Jumping
This activity is not only fun, but also helpful to your school community. Talk to your school's custodians and ask if your class can help out over the course of a morning or an afternoon by raking leaves on the school grounds. Prior to the activity, you can teach students about the importance of community service and volunteerism. Then, after all the leaves are raked, you can all enjoy the childhood pleasure of jumping in the fluffy leaf piles. (You'll probably have to re-rake the leaves afterwards, but it's worth it.)
You can also take this activity to teach a lesson about leaf identification for a more academic approach. Or, have students make leaf rubbings or press leaves using their ''souvenirs.''
3. Go Shopping
Fall is a great time to go to a farmer's market as there's plenty of local produce still in season. Consider taking your class to a market to learn about:
- The seasonality of produce
- The benefits of shopping locally
- The impact of consumer choices
- The history of local versus factory farming
4. Go Birdwatching
Birdwatching is an engaging learning activity that can be especially enjoyable in the fall. Grab some binoculars (or just have students use their eyes), and explore your local area. Have your students compete to see who can identify the most bird species.
This activity lends itself to plenty of learning opportunities, including:
- Animal behavior
- Local bird species
- The science of birdsong
- Local ecology
5. Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Take your students on a combination nature walk/scavenger hunt. Give them a list of things that can be found in nature in your local area, like the different types of trees, insects, animals, plants, and so on. This will help them:
- Develop their observation skills
- Give them something to do on the walk
- Help them learn about local flora and fauna
Plus, a scavenger hunt adds a fun competitive element that will keep your students engaged.
We hope you and your students have fun with these outdoor fall activities! Send your photos to us on Twitter @studydotcom. We'd love to hear from you.
For more ideas for unique, engaging activities you can do with your students, check out Study.com's Teacher Edition.