Fall is a wonderful time of year to teach children about the cycle of life in nature. Some of their favorite foods are harvested in the fall. In our class we learned about the parts of an ear of corn ( the husk, stem, kernel, and corn silk at the top). We learned about how the apple tree comes to life in the spring to produce buds, then flowers that get pollinated, and finally apples that ripen in the warmth of the summer sun to provide us with delicious juicy fruit in the fall. It was fun to cut up the fruit and cook it in a crock pot to make our own yummy applesauce. We also pickled the last of the cucumbers out of Ms. Burns' garden to enjoy at a further time.
The class learned about plants starting as seeds with our sunflower tweezing work. We purchased a HUGE cut sunflower from the farmers market and let it start drying out. When the flower was fairly dry the seeds were easily plucked out with a pair of tweezers or even bare hands. In addition to providing an opportunity to practice fine motor control the children were able to think about how this huge flower had started as a single tiny seed. I even overheard one child wonder aloud if we were going to plant all those seeds all over the world! We talked about how the pumpkins we enjoy at Halloween and Thanksgiving also started their journey as a tiny seed.
As the leaves change and as the growing season gets put to bed, the children learn to appreciate the cycles of nature that provide them with so much nourishment and beauty.
Submitted by: Lindsay Turner