The leaves are changing colour, there is a chill in the air and pumpkins are everywhere, it can only mean one thing: Autumn is here!
Make the most of this beautiful season with some fun activities in the classroom! Here are some seasonal (and educational) games to play with the students you support, so they can learn about the environment around them and how our amazing planet works.
As the classroom TA you’ll love being as hands-on with the games as the pupils and it’s a great chance to brush up on your scientific knowledge along with your problem solving and creative writing skills!
Why not team up with the teacher and try some of these lessons this month!
Get everyone to wrap up in warm coats and head outside to gather up a range of leaves (a great opportunity to also teach the students about the different types of trees) then head back inside, split the pupils into small teams and get them to trace a leaf (or two) onto graph paper. Once that’s done, get your students to plot the coordinates of the shape of the leaves and share those coordinates as worksheets. Distribute the worksheets to different teams and get the students to compete the graphs!
This game is great for students aged between 7-12
Using either an image, a plant, a poster or even a real tree, challenge the students to guess the number of leaves on a tree/plant. To start, they might count the leaves on several typical branches then use their maths skills to work out the average number of leaves per branch.
You can then go on to ask the students to work out how many leaves it would take to cover a certain amount of ground with a layer of leaves one leaf thick.
For more information on this game (including some questions to ask) read this!
Autumns colours provide the perfect opportunity to teach students of any age about photosynthesis! Don’t ‘leaf’ out this valuable seasonal lesson!
With the leaves changing colours and falling off the trees, it’s the perfect time to offer the students a hands-on science project. For this you’ll need some leaves from the trees or a household plant. To teach the students that without enough sunlight, plants cannot turn sunlight into their food, get them to cover up half a leaf with a piece of cardboard or foil and leave it aside for a few days. After a few days have passed, get the students to uncover the leaf and make a note of their findings. Make sure you create a worksheet to get them to record their findings and work out what happened. It’s also a great time to teach them about the difference between photosynthesis during the summer and autumn.
Perfect your poetry
With such colourful views outside the classroom windows, it’s easy to be inspired by the beautiful nature that surrounds us this time of year. Why not make the most of it by getting the class to practice their writing skills by brainstorming nouns, verbs and adjectives about autumn, then use these to come up with autumn-inspired poetry! You can also get them to decorate the images with leaves, twigs and acorns! Perfect for students of all ages!
An additional poetry activity to try is to print out your favourite autumn poems and get the students to practise their handwriting skills by carefully copying out the poems and decorating it after. You can then display the best ones around the class to bring the seasonal theme into the classroom.
What’s the weather?
This time of year certainly has us guessing with our wardrobes! The mornings are often chilly, but the afternoons can be warm and sunny. It’s a great opportunity to have the students chart the weather each day and collect the data over a four-week period, then you can use this data to collate the average highs and lows of each day and week.
You can also use this activity to teach the students how to create bar graphs or line charts to map the average temperatures throughout the season.
Being creative is just one of the many fun parts in the life of a teaching assistant
, you’ll be able to assist the classroom teacher with decorating the classroom to inspire pupils (and get them involved too by creating some autumnal artwork!) Fancy getting super creative? Why not head over to Pinterest to see how the students can make fun decorations for Halloween like flying witches, paperchain ghosts, and papier mâché pumpkins! How many careers are this much fun?! It’s just one of the many reasons people choose to enter the education sector as a TA every year!
If you’ve been considering a career as a classroom teaching assistant, wondering what the role involves and if it’s the right move for you,
Read this next