I think for most of America, one of the best feelings in the world is seeing “Pumpkin Spice Latte is Back!” when on your daily run to Starbucks. Maybe I’m biased, or maybe I go to Starbucks too much, but it's just so exciting. So why not embrace that energy with students? The middle of the fall semester is usually a weird time for middle and high school students. The beginning of school feeling has worn off, and now everyone is just waiting for the holiday season. So here are some ways to share some of the Pumpkin Spice Latte spirit with your secondary students!
There are many holidays that occur during the fall. Not only Thanksgiving but, Diwali, Dia De Los Muertos, Chuseok, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and many more are celebrated all throughout the season. It’s important to be conscious of this and I encourage you to expose your classroom to different cultures and traditions. It's a great opportunity to incorporate some learning while getting “pumpkin spiced” with your class.
Here are some of my favorite fall activities. These are a great way to give students and yourself the break you need. Students can recharge and use their imagination, while you do whatever you need to do. They include social media themes and creative prompts to get students thinking while fitting the fall vibe.
There's no better way to embrace the fall spirit then getting cozy and relaxing!
Ways to celebrate fall in the classroom:
As fall paints the world in its rich colors, take your students outside to take advantage of the amazing fall weather. Organize nature walks where they can breathe in the fresh air. Engage in activities like leaf identification, birdwatching, or simply relishing the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot. Embracing the outdoors helps students connect with nature and gives students (and yourself) a change of scenery and a chance to have some fun.
Another way to celebrate the fall season is using technology. There are many virtual fall celebrations like virtual costume contests or online pumpkin carving challenges. Virtual field trips are also a fun way to involve students. Explore national parks with stunning fall foliage or visit historical sites tied to autumn events.
Fall is synonymous with harvest, and it's the perfect time to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in the classroom. Create a "Harvest of Gratitude" wall or bulletin board, where students can post notes expressing what they are thankful for. Encourage them to acknowledge the small joys and the people who make a difference in their lives. Celebrating gratitude helps nurture a positive and compassionate classroom community. Gratitude journaling is another option.
Celebrate fall flavors with a fall recipe exchange among your students. Ask them to share their favorite seasonal recipes, whether it's pumpkin pie, apple crisp, or a comforting bowl of butternut squash soup. You can even organize a taste-testing event to savor the delicious results.
Unleash the artist within your students with autumn-inspired art projects. From leaf prints and pumpkin paintings to intricate fall mosaics, the possibilities are endless. Art allows students to explore their feelings and observations about the season while honing their creative skills.
A movie day perfectly embodies the cozy feeling of fall. You can kill two birds with one stone by putting on a movie and giving out some amazing fall activities.
Et voilà! There you have it! Teaching schedules often don't have time for fun, but when they do, remember to take advantage of it. Remember this fall to stay grateful and be gracious with students. Treat yourself to that Pumpkin Spice Latte!
Hugs, Love, and Lots of Kisses.