For many, Autumn marks the time of year that the weather begins to cool, leaves turn brilliant shades of red and orange, and every food, drink, and candle is flavored with pumpkin spice.
But what causes these phenomena to occur? While we can’t speak for your latte, the cooling weather is the result of Earth’s tilted axis, which results in less sunlight and colder temperatures. Explore more with these resources and instructional ideas.
Content Collection, Grades K-12
Featuring resources selected and created by Discovery Education’s curriculum experts, this content collection offers lesson starters, video clips, songs, and more.
Video, Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
The transition from summer to autumn is usually marked by cool breezes and leaves changing color, though officially, fall does not begin until the autumnal equinox. The planet orbits the sun at an tilted angle of approximately 23.5-degrees, and it is this tilt that determines the seasons.
Video Segment, Grades K-2
The sun comes up every day and provides us with light, heat, and energy. The sun guarantees all of the seasons will follow the same cycle: spring, summer, winter, and fall.
Video Segment, Grades 6-8
In temperate forests, animals prepare for winter during the autumn, while food is still plentiful. The dormouse and Japanese macaques must gain weight before winter arrives.
Video Segment, Grades 6-8, 9-12
How do cultures around the world celebrate the changing of the seasons? To the Japanese, autumn is the most beautiful time of year.
Instructional Idea: Spotlight on Strategies
SOS: Did You Hear That? is a teaching strategy that encourages students to draw conclusions and create and describe mental images. Ask students, “What does autumn sound like?” Play Vivaldi: The Four Seasons: Allegro: Autumn, a concerto that gives musical expression to the feeling of the fall season, and have students journal and draw representations of the music.