I am a fan of teaching units as I feel there is a connection to various subjects that students can see rather than learning information as individual subjects. I get excited about taking a topic and exploring it- anything from literature to science, to history, to art, and beyond. I thought that if you were like me you’d appreciate someone else coming up with ideas and you could go from there. I have various resources for different age levels. I hope this will be beneficial to you.
Seasons: It’s important to lay some groundwork when doing a unit. Create a KWL list or chart. Have your students fold papers into thirds vertically. At the beginning of a lesson or concept unit, have them fill out the first column and head it “What I Know”. The second column will have the heading and “What I Want to Know” and have them fill that out. At this point just put the title “What I Learned” since you haven’t begun your unit.
As your student learns throughout the unit, revisit the second and third column and continue to add to the “What I Want to Know” and fill in the “What I Learned” . If you would like to create one here is a website to do just that! click here This helps you to see what information is already known by your scholars, (Know about subject) what misconceptions they may have about the topic, (Know) and what direction your unit may go toward when planning your unit. (Want to Learn) You may not change your plans, but I have found the enthusiasm for learning to be far greater when my children were asked what they wanted to learn about that topic.
Gather resources: This is time consuming, and so I want to help you with some of these ideas so you can order library books, click on websites, and download worksheets. See the resources listed below to help you get started. If you find other resources that were helpful please leave a comment so others can benefit from your expertise.
Explore topic: If at all possible, allow your pupil(s) to explore the topic of autumn before you start with your lessons. I have listed some ideas for you to consider:
- Go on a nature walk and observe the change that is occurring with life. What changes do you notice with the leaves? flowers? Do you notice any insects? (wooly caterpillars, cicadas, new broods of white cabbage moths,increase of Monarch butterflies, migrating birds, are some of the animals in our area). This would be a great time to work in your nature journals.
- Gather leaves in various stages of changing color
- Observe and record the time the sun sets each day for two weeks. You can go to the following websites and see how much daylight we have each day. weatherbug, wunderground, weather.com
- Research the autumnal equinox.
- Check out this Equinox Myth
- Read books,discuss why leaves change color, why are squirrels burying acorns,watch a video
- Look at temperature changes in your area or across a region weatherbug, wunderground, weather.com
- Older students: What weather systems do we see in autumn? Research hurricanes, tropical storms
- Create a weather station and record your findings for two weeks. Older students can reate this and the whole family can participate.