This fall circle time lesson can be used in person or virtually. Like many of you, I will be starting the school year virtually. That means I will be recording read alouds and hosting interactive zoom calls too. I am excited about this, but it’s been a considerable shift. I hope this post helps to show you how you can use lessons you’ve done fore years and shift them online if need be. This year will look different no matter how you are teaching, but we can still provide a fantastic early childhood experience for everyone with a little re-arranging. You got this!
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Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak is a beautiful book that teaches children all about the changes in our environment as the season shifts from sunny warm days of summer to chilly autumn ones. It starts on a late summer morning, and as a child walks through their environment, both natural and urban, they note all the ways that things are changing. Eventually, the weather turns, and the child wakes to find Autumn has arrived.
The Circle Time Lesson
Gather your materials. You will need photos of summer and autumn and some way to display them. My classroom has a giant magnet board, so I am using my favorite self-adhesive magnets on the back of each photo and sorting them on the magnet board. This is perfect for a virtual set up or in person. You could also use a pocket chart. This is the one I have at school.
If possible, use photos of your students in both summer and winter and use them for the activity. If you are virtual and can’t easily share materials like that, feel free to print out these photos ( download here).
The point of this lesson is to look at the clothing and environment and decide if the photo is from summer or autumn.
After reading the book but before sharing the photos with the students, ask them if they remember what some of the signs of the autumn season were mentioned in the book. Next, ask your student what signs of summer might be? After they answer, ask them if they can help you sort these photographs looking for signs of summer or autumn and sorting them accordingly.
More Activities For This Lesson
These activities work great in a class, but they can be sent home for activities caregivers and parents can do with your distance learning students too.
1. Nature Walk and Draw
Pop outside either at recess or another time and go for a walk. Have your students use their senses to feel, smell, see, and hear autumn. Do they see any signs of the seasons changing? Point out the signs you see.
After the walk come inside, grab some paper and crayons and have your students draw one sign of the season changing they saw on the walk. Help them remember if needed.
2. Clothing Sort
Gather up summer clothes like swimsuits, shorts, sun hats, and glasses as well as autumn clothes like sweaters, rain boots, warm vests, and wooly socks. Pop them all in a pile and ask your students to sort them into summer and autumn piles. Go through them together and see why they put them in each collection, some may end up in one you don’t expect, but this isn’t a right or wrong lesson, maybe they wear swimsuits in the fall because they have indoor swim lessons.
3. Leaf Color Sorting
Pop outside and gather up some fallen leaves. You can use fake ones for this too if you can only find wet or leaves too brittle to handle.
Put them on a tray and invite children to sort them by color, size, or shape. Ask your students how else they could sort them?
More Fall Lesson Plans for Preschool
For more fall learning, check out my fall thematic units – these units have circle time lessons, art projects, center activities, many with printable materials perfect for sending home for remote learning – but they aren’t worksheets!
Check out my library of affordable thematic units here.