In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, educators will find ideas for teaching about the seasons. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Seasons topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Seasons
Season to Season
As a long-term project, have your students observe and record the weather each week of the school term or year. Students can take the temperature outdoors and measure the amount of precipitation with a rain or snow gauge. (Simply take a waterproof ruler and place it in a clear plastic container to create a homemade gauge.) If possible, students can use a wind sock or anemometer to measure the amount of wind. You can have students record their observations in their notebooks or use a large class calendar or datebook. Different small groups could also be responsible for recording the weather conditions each week, and reporting their findings to the class. As the seasons change, have students look at the data and make inferences about the weather. How does the weather change throughout the year? What patterns do they see?
Bring in examples of travel guides and brochures to your students. Explain that many guides have descriptions of the weather and activities available each season. Have your students pick a city or country from around the world and create a travel guide or poster. You may wish to break up the students into small groups so they can research together. Students should find out about average temperatures for each season, kinds of precipitation, historical landmarks, as well as fun activities or festivals that occur during each season. If possible, hold a “travel fair” where students can share their work and make recommendations about which season is preferable to visit their chosen country. For example, students might like to recommend Mexico in the fall to see the migrating monarch butterflies arrive or Holland in the spring to view the tulips. Students will learn how people have always celebrated the seasons’ annual cycle.
Seasonal Fashion Show
Hold a seasonal fashion show with your students. Students can bring in outfits that they wear during the winter, spring, summer, and fall and model them with the class. Teach students the correlation between temperature and proper attire: At 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), students might wear an autumn jacket over their clothes. At 80 degrees (27 Celsius), they might be dressed in shorts and a shirt. You can encourage students to bring in athletic jerseys and equipment that they use during each season. Have student volunteers describe their outfits and discuss why they are appropriate for each season. (Make sure children understand dress codes and wear appropriate cover-ups for any beachwear.)
As the World Turns
Have small groups of students make models of Earth and the Sun and show how Earth orbits around the Sun. Remind students that Earth tilts at an angle as it orbits the Sun. Students can paint Styrofoam balls to model the Earth and Sun (take care to use relative sizes of balls) or use different colors of clay. Students can put in a paper clip or pencil at the poles of the Earth to show the tilt, and draw a horizontal line to show the Equator. Modeling the Earth and Sun will help students visualize how the tilt and orbit cause the seasons to change.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Seasons
Remind your child that different plants grow in different seasons. For example, apple trees bear fruit in the fall while orange trees bear fruit in the winter. Despite this, your child may notice that apples and oranges are available in the grocery store all year round. Why do they think that is? Research the fruits and vegetables to find out the season those plants bear fruit. Look for stickers and labels on the fruits and vegetables that identify the country or place of origin. How do we get apples in early summer if trees bear fruit in the fall? Explain that because of Earth’s tilt and orbit around the Sun, different parts of the world have different seasons. Explain to students that these fruits and vegetables are flown around the world. If possible, visit a local farmer’s market to explore seasonal produce together, and see if you can create a seasonal meal made from locally-grown produce.
‘Tis the Season For…
Together with your child, set goals that are appropriate for each season. For example, the goal for the summer might be to go camping for a weekend, remember to wear sunscreen, or learn how to dive. A goal for the spring might be to spot a nest of eggs or hatchlings, plant flowers, spring clean, or go see a baseball game. Find goals that you and your family can do together and are realistic and able to be fulfilled. Have your child write them down in his or her notebook or create a list to post in your home. Then as each goal is accomplished, she or he can cross it off the list.