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A Look At the Seasons

Main Core Tie

Science - 1st Grade
Standard 2 Objective 3




The students will be able to identify characteristics of the seasons as they read, observe, discuss and explore information.



  • The Reasons for the Seasons, by Gail Gibbons, ISBN‐13: 978‐0‐8234‐1238‐0
  • It's Spring!, by Linda Glaser, ISBN‐0‐7613‐1345‐1
  • Its' Summer!, by Linda Glaser, ISBN‐0‐7613‐1757‐0
  • It's Fall!, by Linda Glaser, ISBN 0‐439‐40017‐1
  • It's Winter!, by Linda Glaser, ISBN 0‐7613‐1680‐9
  • What Will the Weather Be?, by Lynda DeWitt, ISBN‐13: 978‐0‐06‐445113‐0
  • When Winter Comes, by Nancy Van Lann, ISBN 0‐689‐81778‐9
  • Winter At Long Pond, by William T. George, ISBN 0‐440‐83110‐5
  • The Big Snow, by Berta and Elmer Hader, ISBN 0‐590‐44438‐5
  • Round and Round the Seasons Go, Rozanne Lanczak Williams, ISBN ‐13: 978‐0‐916119‐40‐0
  • The Four Seasons, by Rozanne Lanczak Williams, ISBN‐13: 978‐0‐916119‐28‐7
  • What's the Weather Like Today?, by Rozanne Lanczak Williams, ISBN 0‐916119‐41‐6
  • The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree, by Gail Gibbons, ISBN 0‐15‐271245‐3
  • Fresh Fall Leaves, by Betsy Franco, ISBN 0‐590‐27363‐9
  • In November, by Cynthia Rylant, ISBN 0‐15‐201076‐9
  • The Apple Pie Tree, by Zoe Hall, ISBN 0‐590‐62383‐4

Background for Teachers

The seasons of the year are a part of everyday living. Children can learn about the seasonal changes of their world by reading informational texts, observing the characteristics of each season (such as the weather, length of daylight, animal behavior, plant growth, holidays, clothing, and activities). It is important to build their background knowledge of why these changes occur, and how these changes affect the physical world they live in.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a positive learning attitude.
  • Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
  • Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal forms

Instructional Procedures

Content Connections:

Math: are measurement of days, weeks, months, year and the calendar.

Social Studies: holidays and customs. Science: life cycles, habitats, temperature and weather.

Invitation to Learn:

The students are invited to look at the four black silhouette symbols that represent a season. They are asked to match the symbol to a season and "tell their thinking out loud."

Instructional Procedures:

  1. After students have matched the silhouette symbol to the correct season, place the symbol and the name of the season on the large chart paper. (Each season has a chart.)
  2. Give each child a picture to place on one of the (season) charts. He/she places the picture under the season he/she thinks it belongs to, and tells his/her reason for that choice. (Use pictures from magazines, calendars, or online clipart.) Discuss, clarify and question the students' reasons for their choices. Use this picture sort as an assessment of students' level of knowledge and understanding about each season.
  3. Ask, "How do the seasons change? How does the earth know when it is time for summer? Winter? Spring? Fall?"
  4. Read the book The Reason for the Season by Gail Gibbons. Read only the first two pages. Explain how the earth is surrounded by a blanket of air. The blanket of air is warmed by the sun. It is the tilt of the earth as it moves around the sun that causes the seasons.
  5. Make a model of how the earth moves around the sun. Demonstrate how the earth tilts. Important vocabulary words to use are tilt, orbit, and revolve. Use a world globe and a flashlight to represent the model. As you move the model, explain the vocabulary words.
  6. Read the next two pages in The Reason for the Seasons. These two pages discuss how the earth rotates as it moves around the sun. This means that one side of the earth is in darkness and the other side is in the sun. It takes the earth one day to rotate. The earth is also tilted, and this makes the top and bottom of the earth have different seasons. Explain how the northern and southern hemispheres experience opposite seasons.
  7. Students make their own paper model of the sun and earth (blackline).

    Below (steps 8 -- 11) is the outline to use for each season's exploration. There are many books about seasons to choose from. The titles by Linda Glaser were chosen because of the variety of information about each season compiled in one book. Important characteristics to point out include weather, temperature, activities, length of sunlight, clothing, animal and plant changes during the seasons.

  8. SPRING‐ Ask the students to list a few things (characteristics) they know about the season of spring. List the characteristics on the chart. Read the pages about spring in the book The Reason for the Seasons by Gail Gibbons. Record any new information on the chart.
  9. Read the book It's Spring! by Linda Glaser. Record new information from this book that has not been listed from the previous book.
  10. The students will choose one of the characteristics of each season from the chart. Each student will draw/color and write a subtitle telling about the characteristic he/she has drawn. The pictures will be put into a class book and read to the students. Place the class book in the classroom library or on display.
  11. Compare and contrast the seasons using a Venn diagram as a concluding activity.

Time Schedule for Activity:

  • Each lesson is 55 minutes.
  • Each activity is 30 minutes.
  • Total lesson and activity time is 90 minutes.

Activity Connected to Lesson:

The activities for this lesson are:

  • Read one the season books and make a mini‐mural of the characteristics of that season.
  • Cut out black silhouettes and labels
  • Cut out seasonal pictures from magazines.

Activity Materials:

  • White bond paper (1 piece for each participant)
  • Magazines
  • Using the blacklines at the end of the lesson make silhouettes and labels
  • One of each book:
    • It's Spring! by Linda Glaser
    • It's Winter! by Linda Glaser
    • It's Summer! by Linda Glaser
    • It's Fall! by Linda Glaser
  • Black construction paper cut into ½" strips (1 per participant)
  • Brads (2 per participant)


  • Graph the students' favorite seasons, or graph the season the students were born in.
  • Make a class book for each season. The students think of an activity they do during that season, then draw, color, or write about it.
  • Record of temperature and weather in a class weather book.
  • Have a monthly weather graph to record each day's kind of weather. Compare graphs from different months to see how the weather changes through the year.
  • Dress a weather bear (or child) with the appropriate clothing for the season.
  • Sing songs/poems about the seasons.
  • Have the students make up plays about the different seasons and act them out.
  • Divide the class into four groups. Each group is assigned a season. The group collaborates about how to make a small mural showing many characteristics of the season they are assigned. The mural is displayed in the classroom all year.

Family Connections

  • Each student interviews his/her family members and records their favorite seasons. Bring the data to school and graph the data on a class graph.
  • The family writes about their favorite holiday and tells in what season of the year it occurs.

Assessment Plan

  • Use the picture sort as a pre‐assessment of the students' understanding of the different characteristics of each season.
  • Observe students' interest and engagement in the exploration of each season.

Created: 03/12/2011
Updated: 02/05/2018