Fall Activities for Kids - 5 Engaging Ideas for Upper Elementary

Fall Lesson Ideas for 3rd 4th 5th Grade Students

There is nothing more exciting for students, even our upper elementary students, than the change of seasons! 

That is why welcoming the season of fall into my classroom is a must!

Our big kids still love learning about the seasons, holidays, and what is happening outside of the classroom. Infusing seasonal themes and topics with content and standards you already have to teach will ignite engagement and increase student participation.

Bringing the seasons into the classroom goes beyond a quick fall craft to display. Using seasonal activities does not mean you have to give up rigor, critical thinking, or grade-level standards.

Instead, it is the opposite!

When you use seasonally themed activities to enhance tasks you already have to do in the classroom, you will notice:

  • an increase in student interest and motivation
  • an increase in student participation
  • an increase in the quality of student discourse
  • students making connections

Does this sound too good to be true? It is not!

You and your students can reap the benefits from seasonal learning this fall with these simple yet meaningful tips to welcome the season of fall into your upper elementary classroom.

1. Create a Fall Environment with Purposeful Decor

Fall Bulletin Board 3rd 4th 5th Grade SEL Kindness

Transform your classroom into a cozy, inviting, fall-themed space using meaningful decor like student work and fall-themed kindness posters. Displaying student work is highly motivating for students. It also provides a deadline for students, helping them complete their fall writing pieces on time! 

I love to use student fall-themed writing projects to decorate the walls of my classroom. When displaying student writing, be sure to have students create colorful illustrations to accompany their writing. 

Want to display YOUR students' amazing writing? Try these writing projects:

No matter the season, I always display inspirational kindness posters like these. I love using simple fall kindness posters with a positive message to display all season long!  And since they are NOT holiday-specific, it is inclusive for all students in your classroom!

Want to add a touch of fall to your classroom with decor? You will love these FALL GOODIES!

2. Read a Fall Themed Picture Book

fall read alouds for 3rd 4th 5th grade

If you know me, you know I LOVE read alouds! I truly can find a read-aloud for every holiday, season, special event, historical moment, or topic that needs to be addressed in the classroom. Display autumn-themed picture books, poetry, and nonfiction books about leaves and pumpkins around your room. This not only serves as a way to engage and motivate students to read, but it also adds a pop of color and fall decor to your room!

You can use picture books to engage students throughout the season, changing focus each month. It is a great way to weave in different reading and writing standards and serve as mentor texts for your ELA lessons.

Read about my favorite read-alouds for each part of the fall season:

Upper elementary students love read-alouds. Use the above books during your interactive read-aloud time to help enrich students' day with valuable modeling of what readers do as they read!

3. Learn Through Themes

Fall themed activities for kids Johnny Appleseed

Infuse your curriculum with fall-themed lessons and activities! So many seasonal topics and fun holidays during fall relate to the standards you already need to teach, making it easy to get creative with fall themes. Some of my favorites include:

By simply using fall topics during reading, your students will be more engaged and make connections to what is happening outside the classroom...all while  increasing their reading comprehension skills.

4.  Take Learning Outside

Fall Bulletin Board 3rd 4th 5th Grade

Take advantage of the pleasant fall weather by getting outside with your students! Organize nature walks to observe and collect fall leaves, acorns, and pinecones. Use these items for art projects like leaf rubbings or science investigations.

One writing activity I love to do with students each fall is going on an autumn walk! As we walk, we notice and make observations using our five senses. Students record their observations and use them to create a descriptive writing piece about a fall setting. After writing, students create a colorful fall setting illustration to match. These make an adorable bulletin board that you can leave up all season long!

The best part about doing this activity in the fall is that the descriptive writing skills that the students learn during this project carry over into future writing pieces that they create! 

Grab a free fall activity, perfect for outdoor exploration this fall!

5. Sprinkle in the Fun

Fall Fun Ideas for Kids

Who doesn't love to have fun, especially in the fall? Fall is a time to have fun and enjoy the changing leaves, weather, and season! I love to infuse meaningful coloring activities to practice skills and keep students critically thinking.

These coloring activities are perfect to use as morning work, indoor recess tasks, end-of-day calm down, centers, sub work, or any way YOU want! Try these...

By incorporating these tips, you can create a warm and inviting learning environment that not only welcomes the season of fall but also provides opportunities for students to explore and appreciate the unique aspects of this time of year. These ideas will increase student motivation, participation, and learning. Happy fall!

You will also love reading:

Check out my favorite fall activities HERE


Fall Reading Activities for Kids

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Fall autumn lesson ideas for 3rd 4th 5th grade students

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