It’s time to say goodbye to hot summer days and welcome autumn with all its colours and fruit. The leaves themselves look like an artwork, the abundance of shades stimulates the imagination and conkers and acorns just beg to be turned into little crafts.
Kids love autumn projects that is why I always incorporate season-related activities into our lessons. Here is a list of autumn activities and crafts I want to try out (or already did) with both – my pupils and my daughter.
1. Scavenger hunt
I do like to take the kids outside for scavenger hunts. I am lucky as my school has a huge garden where we can go outside and play. From time to time I would tell parents to be prepared for an outdoor lesson and I have to say – kids love that. They practice new words, play detectives and enjoy the fresh air. And after the hunt – we always come back to the classroom and talk about our treasures, prepare a little display and enjoy some hot drinks (I use our staff kitchen or thermoses with ready-made tea or cocoa).
Here is a short list of things that are easy to find. Looking for those things, my pupils practice the numbers, colours, adjectives, plural forms and fall related nouns.
- Find five conkers
- Find a big leaf
- Find a small leaf
- Find a green leaf
- Find two flowers
- Find an acorn
- Find a bird
- Find a bird’s nest
- Find a smooth pebble
- Find a big stone
The list can actually go on, it can be changed, simplified or made more challenging. For my daughter I would use a simpler version.
Once we’ve collected the fruit of autumn it is time to start being creative. The leaves can be used for creating beautiful posters that later on are described or serve as a springboard for creating stories.
2. Cork painting
To create pictures of wonderful fall trees and changing leaves we use old bottle corks and some distemper colours distributed on bottle tops (to prevent the mess). First, we cut the tree trunks out either from plain coloured paper or self-adhesive one, then we create the leaves using corks as stamps. Later on we talk about different colours, the number of leaves on the trees and on the ground, and display the pictures on our cork board.
3. Leaf pictures
The leaves come in various shapes and can be used as parts of larger pictures. With my pupils we would choose various leaves and talk about the things they remind us of. Then we use some glue to stick them to cardboard paper and draw the rest of the image. Kids would create really varied pictures, below there’s the sea created by my daughter Agnes. We would then talk about the pictures, describe them using as many adjectives as possible, maybe even name the animals and people on the and talk about their habitats.
4. Pines, conkers and acorns.
Creating things with pines acorns and conkers can be a bit tricky and requires careful supervision and help from the teachers. As I am not the expert in creating acorn and conkers masterpieces like the ones in the picture (I leave that to my husband) that is why I opted for an easier version – we used pine cones to make birds.
Originally I wanted my little learners to make turkeys and use them to talk about Thanksgiving but my kids wanted to create angry birds instead. It was a lot of fun and wasn’t very difficult to make. We used glue, pompoms, googly eyes, beads, colourful paper and feather and voila – our Angry Bird aka The Turkey;)
I hope that those (very simple) ideas will make your lessons (or family evenings) enjoyable and will say kids say goodbye to the summer season and welcome fall – with all it has to offer.
Anna Musielak is a Polish teacher and teacher trainer holding a Ph.D. from Silesian University. She has worked at the military unit, at college, teaching British Literature and Culture and as methodology director in a private language school. She has also published articles on literature, culture and language teaching. At the moment she is working on workshops and teaching English to young learners and adults. Anna is interested in using drama, music and literature in ELT. She strongly believes that a lesson carried out with enthusiasm and passion is an unforgettable experience for the learners.
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