HOT TOPIC: Online Projects 2006
Volume 3, Issue 4 - October 1, 2006

"It’s officially autumn. The weather is becoming cool and crisp, farms are preparing for harvest, leaves are changing color, and holidays celebrating the end of the summer and the bounty of our nation.

Here in New England there is much that takes place during the fall season. Apple, cranberry and maple festivals kick off September, and then give way to thousands of sightseers taking in the fall foliage across mountains and valleys. As the first frost occurs, leaves are dropping and Halloween caps off October. Fall festivals continue into November, leading up to that most American of holidays, Thanksgiving.

As temperatures drop, animals begin to store food for the winter, prepare for hibernation, or migrate to more temperate climbs. Depending where you are located, you may enjoy birds and butterflies making their instinctive annual trek.

Autumn is a season rich in lore and traditions, from Johnny Appleseed to Squanto to Pocahontas and the Pilgrims. Children find it a magical time, forming and rolling in piles of leaves, making scarecrows, carving jack-o-lanterns, bobbing for apples, wearing costumes, and going trick-or-treating.

In short, autumn is a rich theme for integration across the curriculum. Children’s literature is rife with tales of harvest and the impending arrival of winter. Mathematics is addressed in reading temperature, tracking hours of daylight, sorting leaves by attributes and measuring while cooking seasonal recipes. Science is a hot topic, from animals to seasons, weather and the autumnal equinox. And the social studies immerse students in the history of early America, the role of farms in our economy and holidays that help shape our national character.

This week’s D12 offers high quality Web resources that will help you connect to Autumn in your classroom. From primary sources to interactive maps and Flash-based games, there are some truly invaluable resources for you. And with the new format for year three you not only get the top dozen resources, you get an additional hotlist of links that you can add to your instructional repertoire."

©2005 Walter McKenzie

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