Thursday, January 13, 2011


I know that fall is over and done with. In fact, I am at home because the winter snow and ice have caused school to be cancelled. However, I figure that while I have  the time I'm going to back track a little.
I love the fall! What a great time to cover science objectives. During the fall we learn about bats, pumpkins, and spiders. We read books about each topic. I usually try to choose one or two factual books and one or two fictional stories.
Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson: Book Cover      Stellaluna by Janell Cannon: Book Cover     Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell: Book Cover
These are a few of my favorites.

The students write facts about each topic. They also draw pictures to go with their writing. I use the storybook writing paper that leaves space for their pictures at the top.

I also like for the students to complete an art project to go with each topic. This is fun for them and makes a nice fall display in the hall. It also gives them the chance to really think about the structure of each plant or animal.
This is a really simple project. The students use a foam web as a stamper. I create the sparkly gray color by mixing black paint, white paint, and silver glitter. I pre-cut the strips for the legs. I also pre-cut large and small circles for the bodies.

The students have to use their knowledge of spiders to put them together. They have to recall that spiders have 2 body parts and eight legs. The students glue their completed spiders to a piece of ribbon, which they then glue to the web.

Each year we visit the pumpkin patch at Tate Farms. Each student brings home their own pumpkin, and I bring one back for the class. After reading about pumpkins, we make observations about our class pumpkin using our five senses. First we observe the outside of the pumpkin and then we cut it open and look at
the inside.

After we've completed our observations we make a pumpkin model. This project takes several days to complete. First, we paint the outside of two paper plates orange. The next day, after the outside has dried, we paint the inside peach. Then we glue peach yarn and pumpkin seeds inside. Next, we label the inside parts of the pumpkin-flesh, seeds, and pulp.  Finally, I staple the tops of the pumpkins so that they can still be opened up.

I stole this bat project from a co-worker. It really gets the students to think about the parts of the bat that we have learned about. My talented co-worker made patterns for feet, wings, and ears (it looks like the little guy in the picture lost his ears). The students trace and cut out the body parts, then they glue them to paper bags. Originally, the plan was to stuff the bags with newspaper so that the bats would stand up. However, in the end we decided  that the bats work better without stuffing the bags.

I like to let my fall projects hang in the hall until we begin Thanksgiving projects. When they're done being displayed I glue them next to the students writing on construction paper. I staple each student's papers together, and they have a nice fall book to bring home.   


  1. Great projects! I love the foam spider web- I am going to have to get one of those!

  2. I love what you do with the Spider project-what a great warm up for insects in the spring, too!