Fall is such a wonderful time in the primary classroom. Once the kiddos have settled into school a bit and seasons begin to change – the fun really begins! If you’re looking for some fun and engaging fall activities to try in your classroom this year, you’re in luck! Today I’m sharing all of my favorite fall activities!
There are so many great holidays and things to celebrate throughout the fall season. As a long-time teacher, fall was always a favorite of mine. It meant that my kiddos had likely settled into our school routines and the holidays were on their way! I have SO many fun ideas for fall, but here are a few you might like to try in your room.
Start With Books
Any new season or topic deserves a great set of new books. Each season, I liked to give the classroom library a little refresh and restock the area with some fun, thematic books. In the fall, there are so many exciting holidays coming up, it can be hard to choose which books to include. Here are a few of my top faves:
- A Tree For All Seasons by Robin Bernard
- Why Do Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro
- Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum
- Apples by Gail Gibbons
- The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
- Halloween Is…. by Gail Gibbons
- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
- Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell
- Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
- The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat by Stan Berenstain
- Thanksgiving Is…. by Gail Gibbons
- The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing
- How To Catch a Turkey by Adam Wallace
- The Story of the Pilgrims by Katharine Ross
- Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf
You may have noticed there are a few books on my list written by Gail Gibbons. These were always my favorite! Her books are beautifully illustrated and filled with many interesting facts. I always liked to read these aloud before putting them in the classroom library. You can count on these stories to provide your students with plenty of background information and a great introduction to all the fun fall brings!
Fall Activities To Start The Day
I don’t know about you, but I really loved using seasonal-themed morning work in my classroom. Over the years, I found that the simple addition of seasonal clipart on our morning work pages served as a source of motivation for students. Kiddos loved to see the fun images on their pages and were eager to get to work so they could color in the fun pictures after.
I like to use a new set of morning work pages for each month. October Morning Work features fun Halloween images while the November Morning Work is centered around Thanksgiving. Each day students will spiral through a review of topics aligned with first-grade standards. This is a great way to get extra practice in and bring some routine to your mornings!
If you’re just getting started with morning work, you may want to take a peek at this post, which discusses the benefits of using morning work and how to incorporate it into your daily routine. These morning work pages also come in printable and digital versions, making them flexible enough for any classroom setting.
Fall addition and subtraction Activities
Fall is a wonderful time of year, but it’s also very busy! Busy times of year call for no-prep printables in the first-grade classroom.
I am a big fan of using no-prep printables to sneak in some extra practice on key concepts and skills throughout the year.
During the fall, I love using color-by-code activities that match the season and upcoming holidays. Some of my favorites include:
These color-by-code activities target first-grade math skills and are perfect for morning work, desk work, and early finishers! I love using these to fill gaps in our day and keep the learning rolling. Be sure to grab that Veterans Day freebie if you want to give these a try in your room.
Fall Activities for Center Time
No matter what the season is, I like to align my center activities with the upcoming holidays and celebrations.
Adding some holiday or seasonal flair to your center activities helps keep student engagement high, even if you’re practicing a lot of the same concepts over and over.
Thematic teaching makes it easy to target a variety of first-grade standards and helps students get the practice they need!
During the month of October, I liked to use Halloween-Themed Math and Literacy Centers. Students love the spooky activities and you can easily target a variety of skills!
Some of the skills we work on include:
- Sentence Correction
- Sorting Nouns, Adjectives & Verbs
- Addition & Subtraction Facts
- Graphing and MORE!
I have found that when the center activities are intriguing with fun holiday themes, my students are more than willing to participate. For this reason, I love to use themed centers all year long! Throughout the fall, we also used Apple-Themed Math and Literacy Centers. I love the apple theme since it can easily be used in September, October or November.
Fall Activities for Holiday Celebrations
I always loved to celebrate the upcoming holidays in our classroom. The children and I were looking forward to a holiday break, and a fun classroom party was a great way to celebrate. In my room, I always liked to add some activities that have some holiday magic to them, while also continuing to support learning. This helps to balance that out-of-control, kind-of-crazy “party vibe” and channels it to a more manageable level. If you teach in the primary grades, then I’m sure you know exactly what I mean!
My best activity for this fine balance of fun and learning is BINGO. Everyone loves BINGO, plus it’s easy to prep and can target a variety of skills.
During our Halloween Party, I like to use a spooky set that includes Halloween Vocabulary cards. My students LOVED this game. You can also use the calling cards in a writing center to spark some inspiration for your Halloween writing activities!
For Thanksgiving, I used a similar set that includes vocabulary words with a harvest theme. BINGO is a great way to break up your day with a fun activity while still getting some skills work in during the classroom party.
Don’t Forget Veterans Day
While Veterans Day isn’t celebrated in the same way as many other holidays, don’t forget this one!
Veterans Day presents a valuable opportunity for learning in the first-grade classroom.
I liked to use a PowerPoint presentation along with a variety of other activities to introduce this concept to my kiddos.
For many children, this may be the first they have ever heard of this holiday, so offering some background is key.
We start out with the presentation, that offers some information on Veterans Day and then move on to some themed math and literacy activities. I liked to use a blend of print and digital activities in my Veterans Day lessons to keep student interest high. These are great to pull out on the few days leading up to Veteran’s Day!
Fall Activities For Home Learning
Don’t let your kiddos fall behind over the fall break! Prior to school letting out for Thanksgiving vacation, I liked to prep activity packets to help keep my kiddos on track. They don’t need to be huge- even just a page or 2 per day is a great way to keep those minds working and encourage retention over the break.
I liked to use no-prep printables that covered a variety of math and literacy topics to make my practice packets. These print-and-go pages all feature fun themes to give your packets a holiday flair and spiral through various first-grade standards.
I put these together right before the break and then provide my kiddos a little extra motivation to complete them by offering an incentive to anyone who brings theirs in after the holiday. We had a student store in my room where students loved to “shop”. This served as a great motivator to complete their practice packets over the holiday break!
Save These Ideas For Later
I hope you enjoyed reading through all my favorite activities for the fall! Be sure to pin this post on your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you’ll have these ideas at your fingertips!