Monday, September 19, 2022

Lessons to Answer Common Questions About Fall

Yesterday morning my youngest daughter and I were walking one of our dogs when she asked a question that her older sister asked a couple of years ago. That question was, "why do we have fall?" I did my best to explain it to her (she's four, five next month) in terms that she could understand. I think she got it the gist of it. 

Why Do We Have Fall?
If you have elementary school students who are wondering "why do we have fall?" here are a couple of good little videos on the topic. 

Why Are There Seasons? from SciShow Kids is a good video lesson about seasons. The video is appropriate for students in primary grades. 

 

Reasons for the Seasons is a TED-Ed lesson appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students. The lesson explains the relationship between the shape of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, the Earth's tilt on its axis, and how those affect the amount of sunlight on different areas of the Earth.

What is the Harvest Moon?
While looking for the videos above, I came across a related video that I featured in a blog post a couple of years ago. That video is ScienceCasts: The Harvest Moon. In the video the team at NASA ScienceCasts explains why the full moon that is closest to the northern autumnal equinox is called The Harvest Moon and why other moons have names too (have you heard of the snow moon or the wolf moon?). I found the video interesting, and I hope that you and your students do too.

Why Do Leaves Change Color?
Science Film Making Tips 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.



Reactions, a great YouTube channel from the American Chemical Society, offers a nice video about the chemistry involved in the process of leaves changing color. The videos explains how chlorophyll and the glucose stored inside trees help reveal the reds, yellows and, browns of fall foliage.



SciShow Kids offers this short video lesson to answer the question, "why do leaves change color in the fall?" following video about the science of changing leaves.