Language arts teachers have the luckiest of all the subject areas (at least in one way) because it’s so easy to incorporate fun seasonal themes and activities into language arts lessons. Including a fun fall activity, a winter-themed novel, or spring vocabulary is a sure-fire way to bring some interest into a lesson that might otherwise be difficult to get gets involved in.
Of course in some other ways we’re maybe not the luckiest. Language arts lessons do seem to require more than their share of planning and organizing. And then there are all those papers to grade. But that’s a subject for another day!
But for right now, lets stick to autumn fun in the classroom. Maybe you go all out for one special holiday such as Halloween or Day of the Dead, or maybe a big Harvest Celebration. Or maybe you prefer to just enjoy the season itself with its autumn leaves, pumpkins, and cool, crisp weather. Whether or not you choose to celebrate the traditional fall holidays, there is plenty of good fall content that can easily be incorporated into your language arts lessons.
Keep reading for links to some free autumn resources!
There are lots and lots of choices here – whether you choose a novel with an autumn theme or lesson materials such as worksheets or task cards with autumn themes.
For example, the middle-grades novel Crash is all about football (Well, it’s not all about football, but football is in the background everywhere in this fun novel by Jerry Spinelli). Here’s a free activity that your kids might enjoy if you are teaching Crash this year. I also have a novel study for Crash in case you’re interested.
For one-day lessons, I’ve used lots of fall ideas in my task cards and also in another freebie, the autumn sampler shown below.
For the task cards, which work on comprehension skills including main idea and supporting details, context clues, and cause and effect, I’ve pulled in more of a variety of topics – everything from the obvious, pumpkins, to the less common such as cornucopias and even flannel shirts! I’ll show you two of the cause-and-effect cards here. As you can tell, this is the printable version, with two cards per page, but all of my task card sets now include a digital version as well.
Here you can see a different card, this one about fact versus opinion, in the digital version for Google slides. Easel is another digital option.
The same themes that brighten up reading lessons for autumn also make great writing prompts because these tend to be themes that kids are familiar with, know a good deal about, and tend to have something to say about!
But autumn themes are not only good for writing prompts. Short passages on an autumn topic work great for editing, revising, and proofreading lessons too. That’s what I’ve done with my Four Seasons Revise and Edit. (This resource also includes group activities as well as the individual ones shown here.)
Two quick ways to get a vocabulary lesson from fall content?
- A vocabulary list of autumn themed words – If you can use a list, there’s one in this blog post:
- Vocabulary skill lessons such as the context clues activities included in the Autumn Task Cards. Other fun vocabulary lessons might include multiple meaning words, words with prefixes and suffixes, or even figurative language.
So many possibilities, but I won’t go into all that here. I’ll just say this – incorporate autumn themed craft materials, even something as simple as construction paper, scissors, and glue – and the enthusiasm level will for your lesson will tend to rise!
Treats don’t have to be candy or cookies, or even food for that matter. How about:
- Healthy autumn snacks such as apples of pumpkin seeds
- Autumn songs
- A funny autumn poem
- A lesson held outdoors
I’ve recently combined three of the teaching resources that I mentioned above – the Autumn Task Cards, the Four Seasons Revise and Edit, plus the free Autumn Sampler – into a bundle in order to offer a better price on the combination. You can take a look at it here:
Here’s hoping that you and your students have a wonderful autumn in your classroom!