Our lesson plan on the four seasons is for first-grade students. First-grade students generally range in age between six and seven. According to Piaget, children at the first-grade level are in the Concrete Operational Stage of the Cognitive Development Theory. They understand concepts of conservation, reversibility, and classification. Therefore, the students understanding of the different concepts covered in the lesson plan on the four seasons should be easily obtainable. Students at this age are often confused about why there is a change in weather and wonder what happens to plants and animals during these changes. Upon completion of this lesson, students should be able to identify all four seasons and determine what the appropriate clothing and activities are that correspond to these seasons. Students should also be able to identify what happens to plants and animals during the four seasons on a broad level.
SOL 1.7 Students will investigate and understand the relationship of seasonal changes and weather to the activities and life processes of plants and animals. Key concepts include how temperature, light, and precipitation bring about changes in
1. When given a felt/flannel board and flannel pieces, the student will portray plants, animals, and people according to the season given.
2. When given a template of a paint program, the student will add the leaf pattern, animals, clothing, and recreational activity for the corresponding season.
Examples of Cutouts:
basic tree trunk with limbs
shirts (short and long
sleeve) Squirrel red, yellow, orange
leaves sweater/sweatshirt nuts sun pants bear green leaves shoes cave buds for tree limbs
winter coat birds flowers snow suit rabbits storm clouds boots baby animals snowflakes hat raindrops gloves bugs planting items (seeds,
flower pot) scarf snake shorts lizard light jacket umbrella bathing suit towel flip-flops sun visor rake snowman parts beach/pool items
shirts (short and long sleeve)
red, yellow, orange leaves
buds for tree limbs
planting items (seeds, flower pot)
1. Gather students for circle time.
2. Place felt/flannel board on easel in view of all children.
3. Prepare materials from plants, animal, and people bags for the season fall.
4. Ask students what they think of when the particular season (fall, winter, spring, summer) is mentioned.
5. Ask students what the appropriate leaf pattern would be for fall.
6. Place tree trunk on board with appropriate leaf pattern based on student answers.
7. Discuss why the leaf pattern is appropriate with respect to weather changes-- temperature, light, and precipitation.
Teacher Tips: For example, in fall the leaves are changing colors and falling because of cooler temperatures, fewer hours of daylight, and change in precipitation.
8. Ask students what animals they see and how the animals are behaving during the particular season.
9. Place season-appropriate animals on felt board based on student responses.
10. Discuss the reason for the animals' behavior with respect to weather, temperature, light, and precipitation.
Teacher Tips: For example, in fall animals such as squirrels are gathering food for the winter because of cooler temperatures, fewer hours of daylight, and preparing for the colder weather and possible precipitation to come.
11. Ask students what they wear and what activities they engage in during the particular season.
12. Place felt person on board with appropriate seasonal clothing and felt pictures of appropriate seasonal activities based on student responses.
13. Discuss the reason for engaging in certain activities and the reason behind wearing particular clothing with respect to weather, temperature, light, and precipitation.
Teacher Tips: For example, in fall people are wearing long pants, short sleeves, light jackets because of cooler temperatures. There are fewer hours of recreation because of shorter days. Possible recreation includes raking leaves.
14. Repeat steps 5-13 for each successive season.
* There will be a daily discussion of the temperature and weather of the specific day.
* This lesson is designed to last a week beginning on a Monday, covering a season a day with assessment on Friday.
* When season changes, move arrow on season poster and review the new season.
To determine if the students have learned the different characteristics of plants, animals, and people in the different seasons, the students will individually complete a paint project on the computer during the time in a computer lab.
The student will open the file that contains a page with an already drawn stick figure and a bare tree trunk. Each student has to paint one characteristic of animals, one of plants, and one of people for each of the four seasons. We are providing the students with the basic stick figure and tree trunk so that they will have an idea on how to start the project (See File: Season Paint Template). The student will have to add season appropriate clothing to the stick figure, paint the appropriate branches and leaf patterns on the tree trunk, paint an animal characteristic, and paint an activity that would be appropriate for each season. This is a graded assignment. The grade will be based on whether the student included the appropriate seasonal attributes to plants, animals, and people. An example of an acceptable drawing is accompanied with this lesson plan (See File: Example - Summer).
Another way of determining whether the students understood the difference between each season would be to observe them when they work in small groups using the felt boards and cutouts. As the instructor, you would have to make sure that every student had a chance to place the felt objects on the felt board. If you told the students to place the fall characteristics on the board, you would make sure that the student chose the correct leaves out of the plant/weather bag, the correct animals out of the animal bag, and the correct clothes and activities out of the people bag. You could evaluate whether the student knew how to distinguish between the different plants, animals, and people for each season.