Here are seven web sites that offer information and games with fall-related themes that are ideal for elementary schoolers:
1. Clocks … Teaching Time (http://www.fi.edu/qa00/attic3/index.html). Days are shorter in the fall, and this is a great way to help youngsters understand the concept of time. The Franklin Institute Online has a scavenger hunt and other participatory activities, as well as photos of clocks housed at the Franklin Institute. Lesson plans and links also are included.
2. Online Autumn (http://comsewogue.k12.ny.us/~ssilverman/autumn/index.html). There are many season-themed sites, and one of the most charming is “Online Autumn.” It was created last year by six- and seven-year-olds throughout the world, so it is ideal for children in second and third grade. It includes stories, poems, and graphics.
3. Apple Bytes http://comsewogue.k12.ny.us/~ssilverman/applebytes/. This is a project designed on the Web-Quest model for elementary-school students. Kids gather information online about apples and Johnny Appleseed. One module encourages students to write their own stories on this theme. The site links to many other apple sites, including the Johnny Appleseed Hunt (http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/fil/pages/huntjohnnyamr.html).
4. Stellaluna’s Friends (http://www.kids-learn.org/stellaluna/index.htm). One of the many ways to play off the Halloween theme, this is a kid-built site about bats. It includes factual information as well as stories and poems.
5. Sparky the Dog Hot Spot (http://www.fsfckids.ufl.edu/html/welcome.htm). Fire safety is a year-round concern, of course, but it becomes especially important in the fall when people start using fireplaces, burning leaves, and decorating homes with candles for Halloween. The site displays historical fire-fighting equipment and provides a “Home Hazard Hunt” that is a great parent-child weekend activity.
6. Kids Voting (http://www.kidsvotingusa.org/). Undoubtedly, the presidential election has been addressed in class. This site brings the concept of voting to a kid’s level. It includes a way for students to place online their hopes for the future of the United States.
7. Great American Smoke Out (http://www.cancer.org/smokeout). If your school or classroom is planning an event to support the annual Great American Smoke Out (Thursday, Nov. 16), this site offers suggestions for student activities online and offline.