Just after the school year has gotten underway, it is time to begin themes that offer great fall activities. A fall thematic unit is a fantastic transition into the school year!
September and October offer so many opportunities for apple and pumpkin themes. A fall thematic unit further explores the signs of fall, things to do in fall, autumn animals, and more.
Fall Preschool Unit
Fall Preschool Unit$10.00
This Fall Preschool Unit includes 10 days of complete lesson plans with everything done for you. Just print and teach these developmentally appropriate (ages 3-5) fall-themed activities.
Introducing a Fall Thematic Unit
A great way to shift into a fall thematic unit is to take a nature walk with the class and collect items that have fallen from the trees. Give each child a small paper bag with their name to collect the outdoor treasures. Nowhere close by to take a nature walk? No worries. Send home a note with students to bring in acorns, pinecones, and leaves and have the students share what they brought during circle time. Use the natural materials as filler for the sensory table or science center when done with circle time.
Getting Active with Song and Movement
Sing songs such as “Autumn Leaves” during circle time to get the children up and moving. After learning the song, add buckets of silk leaves and a couple of plastic rakes. The students can act out the song and practice raking up the leaves. As a bonus, have the children sort the colored leaves into matching colored buckets when it is time to clean up.
“I See Fall” Concept of Word (C.O.W.)
Tracking words is fun when children can grab a pointer and follow along with the “I See Fall” pocket chart poem. Children follow along while pointing to the words from left to right and top to bottom to help them build an awareness of print and books. Make sure they point to each word as they go. Add some extra seasonal fun – use a stick, leaf, or dried cornstalk instead!
Meeting Math Foundational Standards with Sorts and Polls
Having children analyze data seems intense, but it is easy when they have topics that are of interest to them. The Fall/Not Fall Sort is an excellent way for children to answer questions about fall and determine which things happen during the fall season. While the class is sorting the cards during circle time, ask questions like:
- Can you build a snowman in the fall? Why or why not?
- Do you see pumpkins this time of year?
- Are the leaves starting to fall from the trees?
- Do people go to outdoor pools in the fall? Why not?
Taking a poll is another fun way for students to gather data about what is engaging to them. Ask questions like, “What is your favorite thing to do in the Fall?” Take this poll and have the children mark the column of their choice with fun name cards like pumpkins or something as simple as sticky notes. The columns can be compared and explored by asking questions like:
- How many people like to jump in the leaves?
- Did more people like to eat apples or go hiking?
- What activity has the most likes?
Fall Thematic Unit Forest Animals Chip Clip Fun
Simple math concepts can be easily practiced with adorable counting poems and a counting crow center. The forest animals chip clip poem is a great opportunity to count up and down to five. Print out and stick the forest animals (from day 9 of the Fall Unit) to clothespins or look for something like these chip clips to use as counters on the tree. Make the tree sturdy and reusable year after year by printing it out and attaching it to thick cardboard.
Counting Crows on the Scarecrow
After circle time fun with the forest animals chip clip poem, set up a counting center with scarecrows and crows. Print and cut out the scarecrows and glue them to craft sticks. Stick them in a foam block and get the crows ready. Print and cut out the crows and affix miniature clothespins (like these) to the back. The students clip the number of birds to each scarecrow to match the scarecrow’s number. Great opportunities for fine motor skills abound as they pinch the crows onto the scarecrow’s sleeves.
Books About Fall
As the days start to cool off, it’s a great time to read books about fall. Enjoy these books outside in the cool fall air with the cooler weather. Gather up a comfy blanket and decide which book to read first! Here are some Fabulous Fall Books for Preschoolers:
- Apple Trouble by Ragnhild Scamell
- Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
- We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
- When the Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger
- The Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken Brown
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro
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With so many great activities included in the Fall Unit, there should be no shortage of ideas. But just in case more is needed, these resources can help extend the learning further: