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Fall Websites for You and Your Students

by Lori Gracey
Fall
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This blog was updated on October 27 with additional resources.

I think that most of us really love this time of year: autumn with its wonderful colors and temperatures below 90. There’s Friday night football and homecoming parades, the students are into the routine of school, and everything has pumpkin added to it. Then there are the holidays, like Halloween and Thanksgiving. To help get you in the mood, below are some fun tech resources to use in the classroom for this amazing time of year.

Fall

  • Students can practice their basic math skills in Tackle Math Ball.
  • In Apple Surprise, primary kids can practice counting and color recognition as they pick and catch apples.
  • If you don’t live on a farm, you can still Build a Scarecrow to celebrate the season.
  • Using Google Earth and any weather site, have students predict when leaves will begin to change color where they live.

Halloween

  • To keep the learning going in October, check out the many interactive, educational sites (mainly for elementary students) available here.
  • This pumpkin carving website is always a favorite with students. Or you can try this one. Both contain ads.
  • Let your students read some scary ghost stories and tales of the supernatural.
  • Or have the stories read to you on this site of regional ghost stories.
  • Ben and Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard will certainly inspire your students to create their own tombstones of “dead” homework assignments, bad habits, disgusting dinners, and more.
  • PBS Kids has a fantastic Halloween website for younger students, with lots of games and activities.
  • For older students, introduce them to a scary old time radio show. You can try a science fiction story from Dimension X or Frankenstein or The Inner Sanctum. You could then ask the class to create their own radio show.
  • Find the missing numbers when counting by fives in this Spooky Sequences activity.
  • In Ghost Blasters, students must blast a ghost that matches the math requirement.
  • This is a great Google Drawings activity that can be used for any time of year. Have your students create Halloween Magnetic Poetry using the provided template.
  • This fun site, Zombie-Based Learning, has a wealth of resources that focus on geography, virus transmission, literary connections, writing, and more.
  • And thanks to Richard Byrne for the idea of having students use Padlet to collaboratively create safety tips for trick-or-treating or share their best secrets for collecting the most candy.
  • Halloween Writing is a fun hyper-doc providing lots of creative writing prompts for students. Have them File — Make a Copy — Edit for them.
  • If you work with elementary students, be sure to check out these seven fun Halloween activities.
  • For those students who enjoy programming with Scratch, here are some great ideas for a Spooky Scratch-oween.

Thanksgiving

  • This site from the Plimoth Plantation is a wonderful addition to the social studies classroom. It is an interactive and accurate activity where students become detectives to discover what really happened at the first Thanksgiving.
  • Learn about the first Thanksgiving with this well done site from Scholastic.
  • Younger students can read a story about a silly turkey and learn to follow directions in this website with audio from Starfall.
  • Learn more about the early Pilgrims in the Jamestown Online Adventure.
  • In this lesson, students craft acrostic poems using words like gratitude. You can use a tool like WorksheetGenius to quickly create acrostics. Here is the lesson plan for this activity.
  • Encourage your students to learn to Talk Like a Pilgrim or to include some of these old phrases in their writing.
  • Have your students create an infographic on the holiday. And additional Thanksgiving by the Numbers facts are also available.
  • Older students should read and discuss the proclamation creating the first Thanksgiving and then create their own proclamation about what Americans should be thankful for today.
  • Listen to the Ives Holiday Symphony as it is discussed. The Thanksgiving section begins at 41:30 and lasts approximately 15 minutes. Then have students write about what they heard.
  • Have students conduct a classroom poll to determine everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving dessert. Then let them listen to NPR’s Pass the Dessert: America’s Thanksgiving Recipes show where favorites from days gone by are discussed, made, and tasted. The recipes are included.

While your students should definitely try some of these online activities, make sure they also get outside during this fabulous weather and enjoy what autumn has for us!

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