Spring Into Learning – Fall Into Focus

Show a world map that you can hold in your hands to help grow kids' awareness and appreciation of the opposite seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

Show a world map that you can hold in your hands to help grow kids’ awareness and appreciation of the opposite seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

New seasons are emerging…

spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and fall in the sphere that those above the equator call, “down under.”

Both hemispheres adorn themselves with nature’s beauty in spring and fall .

Each hemisphere displays magnificent variations of flora and fauna that are specific to its diverse geography and climate.

Help children grow their awareness and appreciation of our global community by reminding those at spring’s doorstep that kids in the Southern Hemisphere are about to fall into fall.

Hold Up the Hemispheres – Catch kids’ attention and ready them to “spring into learning” or “fall into focus” by showing them a world map that you can hold in your hands.

Announce that you and your class will be celebrating seasons at the top and bottom of the globe.

Flowering trees are a popular symbol of the spring season.

Flowering trees are a popular symbol of the spring season.

Point to a place on the map, and (depending on the grade level you teach) ask if anyone knows the name of the country you’ve targeted.

Ask if that country is in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

Say the correct answers aloud. Then ask students to name symbols of the current season in the hemisphere in focus.

For easy examples, flowers are symbols of spring; brightly colored leaves are symbols of fall.

For added attraction, bring seasonal symbols to class for this discussion, such as flower blossoms, vegetable seeds, fall leaves, etc.

Host a Spring Into Learning – Fall Into Focus Class Event – Consider hosting a Spring Into Learning or Fall Into Focus Event or full week that connects with a number of subjects you teach, including math.

Liven Math with Leaf Manipulatives – Connect seasonal themes with math lessons and help students in the early grades “spring into learning math” or “fall into focus on math.”

Invite children to come to a table and count green spring leaves or pieces of fall foliage instead of plastic manipulatives.

Challenge students to bring things each day to school that celebrate the season…flower petals or leaves that they have found on the ground; a drawing they make of kids on a grassy playground in the sun; photos they take outdoors, etc.

Celebrating emerging seasons in school offers more beautiful ways to help students “spring into learning” or “fall into focus” throughout the day.

Catch kids' attention by playing seasonal music for a minute lead- in to a lesson. Ask kids what images the music brings to mind.

Catch kids’ attention by playing minute-long seasonal music for leads into lessons. Ask kids what images the music brings to mind.

DJ an Attention-Getting Seasonal Music Minute – Begin class by announcing that you want all ears on your “music minute” leading into the lesson ahead.

Help students “spring into learning” or “fall into focus” by playing music live or recorded that portrays the spring or fall of the year…the current season where you live.

Recordings of music with seasonal themes include compositions by world-famous composers such as Joseph Haydn and Antonio Vivaldi. Other child-friendly selections for spring and fall are available online.

Engage students for an extra minute or two by asking what seasonal images the music brings to their minds.

Stage a Seasonal Swing Along Sing Along – After lunch when students’ energy starts to wane, help the class spring back into learning or fall back into focus with more minute magic.

Instruct the class to stand up in place and swing their arms forward and back to the rhythm of seasonal lyrics you say aloud or sing aloud.

Lead the class in a Seasonal Swing Along Sing Along. Let kids swing their arms forward and back.

Lead the class in a Seasonal Swing Along Sing Along. Let kids swing their arms forward and back as you say aloud or sing seasonal lyrics.

Try the amazingly simple lines of a poem titled, Swing Along, that I have written. (See below.)

Your class will be more engaged if you repeat the lyrics to a simple melody you create or present them with a familiar tune.

Invite students to sing along as they swing along.

Seasonal Swing

Swing along, swing along,

Swing along the open road,

All in the spring/fall of the year.

Swing like leaves, swing like leaves,

Swing along the open road,

All in the spring/fall of the year.

Swing from trees, swing from trees,

Swing along the open road,

All in the spring/fall of the year.

Swing like the breeze, swing like the breeze,

Swing along the open road,

All in the spring/fall of the year.

Swing with ease, swing with ease,

Swing along the open road,

All in the spring/fall of the year.

Close your “Seasonal Swing Along Sing Along” with the lyrics below.

Spring into learning, spring into learning/fall into focus, fall into focus,

Together here in school,

All in the spring/fall of the year.

The simplicity of the activities I’ve outlined in this post is key to implementing them during a busy school day.

It’s a “no-brainer” that the best attention-getting tools and tricks are ones that teachers can use in minutes to add value to hours of a school day.

I hope that you’ll be inspired to adapt the themes featured here to other areas of your curriculum.

Please send comments about how you use seasonal themes in teaching.

Kids will get a memorable “kick” out of “springing into learning” and “falling into focus” during the coming seasons.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

 

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
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