Signs of the Spring Season
I love the coming of spring because it signals the end of the long, cold winter. I also love teaching young students about the signs of the spring season because it gets them excited for warmer weather, playing outside, and watching things grow. We start off talking about and listing things that the students already know about the season. Then, I like to show them a PowerPoint presentation that explains the spring season in very simple terms that they can understand and uses real, full-color photographs to which they can relate. Here are a few sample slides:
At the end we play a little game to check their understanding. I show them the following slide:
We look at each picture and they tell me whether or not it is something we would normally see in the spring. After their response I click on the picture. A smiley face shows for spring items, an unhappy face shows for items not seen in the spring.
The signs of spring pictures are then given gold stars to distinguish them from the rest giving students a visual aide.
After the PowerPoint presentation, we review signs of spring with this fun chant.
We substitute different signs of spring that we learned. It is a fun review and students love it! We clap our hands and sing/chant the following:
Warmer weather is here and we give a cheer,
Some (flowers), some (flowers),
So we all clap our hands and welcome spring!
I have been doing this chant for many years and do not remember the source but I have a feeling it is probably from The Mailbox Magazine (yikes! I’m showing my age! LOL).
After the group activity I check individual student understanding by having each student “hunt” for signs of spring.
I upload the PowerPoint onto our class computers and allow students to access it during group or free time. They enjoy looking at the pictures and doing the “quiz” at the end. If you would like to use this PowerPoint in your classroom it is available here.
The next day we review the signs of spring by reading the following emergent reader. It coordinates with the PowerPoint and uses fun, repetitive text along with full color photographs from the PowerPoint to review the signs of spring. I read it to the students first and then we re-read it together.
We review relevant words from the reader and place them on our word wall. Here are a few examples:
During our small group times the students get to make their own copies of the emergent reader. I differentiate them according to students’ ability level. Some students read the words and color provided pictures. They also circle any words from the word wall cards along with any sight words they recognize.
Other students read the words and draw their own pictures. I check their comprehension by the pictures drawn.
The next day is our favorite! We take a walk/hike and look for signs of spring on our school grounds and playground. I love seeing how excited students get when they actually discover a sign of spring for themselves!
We take pictures of signs of spring we discover and collect signs of spring to bring back to our science center. It is so important for young children to experience and discover things first hand. This activity allows them to relate what we have learned about spring to their own environment and touch, smell, and see signs of spring – “has to be in the hand before it can be in the brain”.
Once we’ve returned to our classroom, we create a class book. Each student creates a page by drawing a picture of a sign or signs of spring and writing a sentence about it using the words from the word wall.
This activity gives students the ability and freedom to express themselves and show their experiences from their point of view.
These pages are then bound together to create a class book which is placed in our reading center. Students can also “check it out” like a library book and take it home for one night to share with family and friends.
I use the Little Bird Tales app to create a class book using the photos we took on our spring walk.
If you would like to use the Signs of Spring emergent reader in your classroom click here.