#CelebrateWithDE – September Equinox

On September 22, the sun will shine directly on the equator as we experience the autumnal equinox and the official start of fall. Add the September equinox to your list of things to celebrate this month, right along with back-to-school, apple season, and the leaves changing color. This is also a great time to study the root ‘equi’ – start with the Latin meaning of equinox: equal night.


The equinox is apparent to the senses: it brings cooler weather and shorter days. Use the resources below to encourage your students to look into the science behind the experience as they study the Earth’s axis, the Sun’s rays, and how the seasons are determined. From a content collection and a video to images, a song, and a skill builder, take your lessons into the next season with variety that matches the colors of the fall leaves.

Content Collection: Autumn
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Assorted Resources

Autumn marks the time of year that the weather begins to cool. This cooling is the result of Earth’s tilted axis, which results in less sunlight and colder temperatures than during the summer.

Autumnal Equinox Explained: Fall Begins with the Arrival of the Autumnal Equinox
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook
Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Full Video [01:02]

Fall begins at the autumnal equinox. The Earth orbits the sun at a tilted angle of approximately 23.5 degrees, and it is this tilt that determines the seasons.

Autumn Colors in North America
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Image

NASA’s Terra satellite captured the annual transformation in this natural-color image. With temperatures falling and fewer hours of daylight, autumn colors sweep across the eastern United States and Canada.

Trees in Autumn
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Image

A row of trees with orange, yellow, and red leaves.

Science with a Song (Singing Science): Four Seasons
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook
Grades K-2, 3-5, Song

This song outlines the four seasons and differentiates winter, spring, summer, and autumn.


The onset of fall is a sensory experience and understanding the mechanics behind it helps students conceptualize the cycle of the seasons. Use the simple-but-not-easy activity Six Word Story video (Canadian Version) / Six Word Story PDF from our Spotlight on Strategies series to have students demonstrate their understanding using descriptive language and summary. Be sure to post examples of student work using #CelebrateWithDE on social media!

Interested in joining classrooms around the world to Celebrate holidays year round? Check out our Timely Content Page for our Virtual Viewing Parties and more Instructional Strategies.


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