Fall in the upper elementary classroom is a fun time of year because the kids are still so excited from back to school, you are fresh into content, and there are some fun holidays!
In the fall, my main focus is on teaching new content, but throwing in some fun activities that are themed to learn that content really makes kiddos more engaged in those rigorous standards! Today, I am going to share 5 easy ways to add fall-themed activities into the content you are already teaching.
Fall Read Alouds
Working on a reading skill? Read these themed books to teach and practice that skill with your students.
I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll
This book is GREAT for teaching visualization and inferencing. Read this book the first time and don’t show the kids the pictures. Have them draw and color what they think Gabe looks like as you read. Then, go through it by retelling the story and comparing their pictures to what Gabe actually looks like.
Those Darn Squirrels! By Adam Rubin
This book is a funny one! The kids LOVE it! It is all about Mr. Fookwire trying to feed his birds, but he starts fighting with the birds who are stealing his food. This is great for characterization, plot, and summary!
Cam Jansen by David A. Adler
Mystery novels are great for the fall! Kids love a good mystery and analyzing mysteries is great for so many reading standards! (You could even have a mystery week, found here).
In my opinion, Cam Jansen is the perfect read aloud book because it can be understood by your lower readers and still enjoyed by your higher readers! Plus, many are short enough so you can finish them within a week!
Oh, how I love bat week! You can read more details all about the week in this blog post and grab a free resource!
For bat week, we read nonfiction books about bats and focus on the skill of main idea and details.
Then, we compare the nonfiction books to fiction books about bats! The students even complete a bat challenge at the end of the week!
It is SUCH a fun week, full of rigor and engagement.
Fall Digital Centers
For reading centers, it is a great idea to always have a center called “digital center”. This is where students get to work on their reading and language standards on the computer and let’s be honest, it is their favorite station.
For fall, you can assign students a Google Slide Deck that focuses on a fall theme. Each slide deck has them watch videos and complete word work activities, vocabulary activities, writing, listening to reading, and some fun activities!
The kids love them, they are working on many standards, and they fit in with fun fall themes! (Head here to grab a free Halloween one!)
Here is a fast list of my favorite Halloween activities!
- Halloween Free Activities- Head to this page to grab a free Halloween slide deck!
- Close Reading On the History of Halloween- Reading these simple paragraphs makes it easy to learn about Halloween.
- Read Room on the Broom and then watch it on Netflix! This is a great activity to do on Halloween and you can compare the movie to the book!
- Halloween STEM- have students create a candy dispenser. They have to find a way to use recycled materials to get the candy to dispense to you!
The season of fall is a great time to teach all about writing letters. I have students write SO many thank you letters.
Ideas for who they can write letters to…
- Thank you letters to the nurses, doctors, or caregivers in your community
- Thank you letters to the people who work at your school
- Letters to their parents about what they are liking/not liking about school so far this year
- Letters to their past teachers