Environmental Learning Green Schools & Classrooms Lessons To Grow! Native Plants Natural Play STEM

4 Phenomena to Explore this Fall

Weird, Wonder-Filled Science Happenings for Kids this Fall

Autumn has arrived! Celebrate natural changes by investigating these 4 happenings (phenomena) with children.  Lead with exploration of a leaf pile, a hike, unstructured time with loose parts such as leaves, crisp fall air, dried grasses, squash and frosty grass. Emphasize the use of our senses. Collect their observations. List their questions. Let the student’s curiosity lead you to further investigations, experiments, books, or talks from and expert.

One. “Crunch,” and “Schrunch!” and “Kexxxeexrrrk,” go the leaves as we scuffled down the street. Guide students to experience the phenomenon of dried leaves as they crunch them in their hands and underfoot. Explore the science of sound, photosynthesis, or seasons by using this autumn phenomenon to spark science thinking with your students.

Two. “I caught one!” said the child with glee. Leaves abound, but do they all fall down? Maple trees, cottonwoods, tamaracks and oaks drop their leaves to the ground, but not all trees do. Watch, catch, investigate the phenomena of deciduous trees losing their leaves by hiking your playground or neighborhood. Expand on climate, gravity, biodiversity, habitat or life cycles by reading curiousity and excitement of your students.

Three. “How did the grass get icy this morning?” the girls asked. The stories of jack frost are cute, but there is more to the story! Coach your students in science thinking by exploring the phenomena of a frosty lawn. Let their observations over time lead to questions and into topics such as condensation, water cycle, seasons, temperature…even testing of silly and fun weather folklore.

Four. “EEEeeewwwww! My jack-o-lantern got moldy!” Engage students in decomposition by observing a pumpkin decompose over time. Record those observations, collect those questions, then utilize both lists to further investigate soil, composting, waste reduction, materials science, or food chains. Deer love pumpkins!

Interested in learning more about using phenomena to boost critical thinking, engaging students in environmental STEM, or hosting a Growing Green Hearts science workshop for teachers? Growing Green Hearts offers…

  • 6 teacher trainings through the Minnesota Center for Professional Development by a science content expert and master trainer
  • 8 exciting, hands-on, site visits for schools, child care centers, and library programs
  • 5 years of expertise focusing on environmental STEM and nature play with 15 years of teaching with grades preK-12

Three cheers for nature play! Connect here to book your eSTEM event with Growing Green Hearts.


Play. Learn. Love.

October 2017

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