Activities & Lessons

8 Fall Activities & Lesson Plans for Elementary Students

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9 Fall Activities And Lesson Plans For Elementary Students Hero

Falling leaves. Spooky stories. It’s fall! In most places, you’ve already established your day-to-day, new school-year routines. However, if you’re looking for fresh ways to inspire your kids to enjoy the ever-changing world around them this fall, try these fall activities for elementary students. We have a mixture of math, science, art, and ELA lesson plans—plus seasonal ideas for your classroom that put a twist on common fall themes from apples to leaves.

Fall Classroom Activities and Lesson Plans for Elementary Students

Transform your teaching this fall with the following eight activities and lesson plans.

1. Fall-Themed Writing Prompts: ELA

Get your students’ creative juices flowing by having them write about all things fall. Here are a few writing prompts to get you started:

  • Compare and Contrast, Grades 3–5: Fall looks different in other places around the world. Have students write a compare and contrast paragraph that tells what fall looks like where they live and what it looks like in another region or country.
  • Creative Writing, Grades K–5: Have students write a story about a group of children who find something special during a visit to an apple orchard.
  • All About Fall, Grades K–2: Have students write some facts about fall. Then have them draw fall pictures.

2. Vegetable Sorting: Mathematics/Science, Grades K–5

There are so many vegetables in abundance during the fall season. This is a great time to try a nutrition activity for elementary students. Have each of the students bring in one or two of their favorite vegetables or even new foods they have never tried. Then have students sort them by color, size, and texture. Afterward, you could hold a class discussion about the taste and nutritional value of the vegetables. Additionally, you could have your students research and print out pictures for this activity, or they can use photos from newspapers or magazines.

3. Check for Knowledge: ELA/Science, Grades K–5

Ask your students: what are some of the first words that come to mind when you think of fall? Pumpkins? Scarecrows? Test their knowledge of the season with this activity bundle, consisting of a crossword puzzle, word searches, science quizzes, and word scrambles.

4. Leaf Rubbings: Art, Grades K–5

Have students bring in leaves of various shapes and textures from home, recess, or a walk and create works of art by making rubbings. You’ll need crayons and paper, too, for creating the artwork. First, they’ll need to lay the leaves down with the bumpy side up. Afterward, they should cover their leaves with paper, choose the crayons of their choice, and color over the leaves and paper. They should try using various leaves and colors to make art worthy of hanging! This resource gives full instructions.

5. Apples, Apples: Art/ELA, Grades K–5

Apple Star Prints: Cut apples horizontally through the middle to reveal a star pattern in the core. Have students dip the apples in poster paint to make apple prints. Then have students dictate or write words that describe the apple design artwork.

Paper Apples: Provide students with paper plates and various colored paper in red, green, and yellow. Have each of them draw a shape of an apple on a plate, rip the colored paper into small bits and glue them inside the apple outline, then label the apple with a descriptive word or sentence.

6. Farmers’ Market: Mathematics, Grades K–5

Students will buy and sell vegetables and fruit at a play market to practice their math skills in this activity. They’ll have the option to dress up like farmers, make signs to advertise their products for sale, and use play money to make purchases. Download the instructions for this math activity.

7. Get into the Halloween Spirit: Grades K–5

What do you like to do to get into the Halloween spirit in your classroom? Do you create Jack-o’-lantern art or tell scary stories? We have a range of fun, educational Halloween activities for elementary students, from making a ghost float to teaching students about spiders.

8. Map Indigenous Peoples’ Locations: Social Studies, Grades K–5

Here’s an activity to help young learners learn more about Native American cultures for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is celebrated annually on the second Monday in October. Show children a flat map of the United States. Alternatively, download our “Native American Cultural Regions” map for this activity. Display and discuss small images of several Native American homes such as a tipi, plank house, longhouse, pueblo, grass house, chickee, and igloo. Work with your students to place the homes on the map according to where that type of home was made and the indigenous peoples’ location. For example, place a tipi in the Plains, a plank house in the northwest, a longhouse in the northeast, a pueblo in the southwest, a grass house in the southern Plains, a chickee in the southeast, and an igloo in Alaska. Alternatively, you can label the map if you don’t have any images handy.

Share Your Fall Classroom Activities for Elementary Students

Have any autumn lesson plans and activities we might’ve missed? Do you explore how and why leaves change colors in fall? Share your fall-themed ideas with us on Twitter (@HMHCo) or Facebook or email us at shaped@hmhco.com.

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This blog, originally published in 2021, has been updated for 2022.

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