Fall is by far my FAVORITE time of year. Seeing the leaves change color is truly the highlight of my year. Are you looking to bring some fall or thanksgiving themed activities into your classroom? Here are some ideas:
The best part of thanksgiving is the meal, but do students think twice about how far that meal traveled from farm to plate? In this lesson students learn about "food miles" and calculate how far an average meal traveled before it hits your stomach.
Save some of your food scraps from your thanksgiving meal prep and have students re-grow vegetables. It works great with lettuce, celery, onions, and carrots.
One thing you often see outside or in your fall centerpiece are acorns and pinecones. But have students thought twice about why those seeds have adapted to be so hard or spiky? How does it benefit them? Students can explore seed adaptations and dispersal mechanisms.
Does eating turkey really make you tired? In this free lesson from Biology Roots, students will learn about tryptophan and see if it really causes thanksgiving zzzzz's.
Why do leaves change color in the fall? In this experiment, have students try out leaf chromatography.
Speaking of leaves... grab some fall leaves from the ground outside and have your students make preserved leaf skeletons! They can learn about leaf anatomy and what travels through those veins. You could also discuss how decomposed leaves return nutrients to the soil.
Have a leftover pumpkin from Halloween sitting on your porch? Bring it in and have students learn about the process of decomposition. Or, cut off the top (with seeds left inside), throw in some soil, and watch em germinate!
Want to throw in some graphing practice? In this free lesson from Science with Mrs. Lau, students graph turkey gobbles. Graphing practice is always a good use of time!
Around autumn you can always find variegated corn in grocery and craft stores. They are a great way to introduce genetics, dihybrid crosses, and chi-squared analysis.
I hope you have a great time trying out some of these activities with your students! And I hope you have a great thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones. Remember, your students are very thankful to have you in their lives even if they don't often say it.