Sunday, September 8, 2013

Autumn Magic - The Colors of Fall

As I Tweeted earlier today, I had to dig out a fleece vest today because of the cool weather here in Maine. At about the same time someone asked me when the foliage in Maine would be at its most colorful. The peak of the colors is still about four weeks away. When the leaves start to change colors it's a good time to teach lessons about the causes of the change in the colors of the leaves.

To help students understand why the leaves change colors in the fall, the Maine Forest Service has an animated video explaining why leaves change colors. The video is titled Maine's Autumn Magic and you can watch it here. To help students understand some of the terms in the video, the Maine Forest Service has a glossary of tree terms.

USA Today has a simple interactive illustration that students can click through to see how the weather affects the color of leaves. Students can select individual tree leaves to see what different leaves look like throughout the seasons.

Although they're not as informative as the two resources above, National Geographic has a couple of nice photo galleries of fall foliage. Click here for a small gallery of images from Acadia National Park. Click here for a gallery of images from the Adirondack Park.

Untamed Science offers a good, partially animated, explanation of why leaves change colors, what produces the colors, and why bright and sunny days are best for viewing red leaves. The video is embedded below.