Kindergarten is a key time for children to develop language skills; those early skills are the foundation for later reading success. Kindergarten students need to practice language concepts like sequence, classification, description and prepositions, as well as develop an appreciation of books, the concepts of print, phonemic awareness and phonics. At the same time, kindergartners are still learning about the world around them and need to explore basic concepts like the seasons. Fall-themed activities for kindergarten language enhancement are an effective way to reinforce the myriad of skills children are learning at school.
Hello Fall Poem
This simple pattern poem can be introduced after reading a story about fall, upon noticing the signs of fall on a walk or after the fall season is introduced at school. The poem's first line is, "Hello ", the second line is, "Good-bye ", then "Hello _" and so on. The idea is to have your kids suggest ideas for the blanks, with the "Hello" lines being related to fall and the "Good-bye" lines associated with summer. An example of a short poem might be, "Hello colored leaves, Good-bye hot sun, Hello Halloween, Good-bye 4th of July." Write their ideas in the blanks with their help for letter sounds, and then they can use colored pencils to decorate the poem. Through this activity, kids learn to classify objects by season, practice phonics skills and improve vocabulary.
Fall Rhyming Books
Rhyming is an important part of phonemic awareness, which itself "...appear(s) to be the best single predictor of successful reading acquisition," according to the International Reading Association. So take advantage of the fact that "fall" is so easy to rhyme and create a booklet that your kindergartner can illustrate. After stapling drawing paper between two pieces of construction paper, write "_all" at the bottom of each page. On a separate paper, write down all the words that rhyme with fall that your little one suggests. Then circle the ones he would like to illustrate. Help him write the "b" to make "ball", then let him draw a ball. Some other rhymes that are easier to illustrate include tall, wall, hall, call and stall.
Orange Pumpkin, Orange Pumpkin, What Do You See?
This fall activity is an effective way to reinforce concepts of print, an appreciation for books, vocabulary and sequence. If you and your kindergartner haven't read Bill Martin, Jr.'s, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?", you'll want to start by reading that together a few times. In the book, the predictive text goes like this, "Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me." Then the next page, illustrated with a red bird, says, "Red bird, red bird, what do you see? I see a yellow duck looking at me." Create a fall version of the book with your little one. You can write the words with her help and she can draw the pictures. You might start with, "Orange pumpkin, orange pumpkin, what do you see?"
Fall Sharing Time
Kids in kindergarten enjoy activities like show and tell without even realizing how much those activities help them develop language skills like describing past events and classifying experiences. Another activity parents can do at home, then, is fall sharing time. Go out for a walk around the neighborhood and collect signs of fall, be they colorful fallen leaves or flyers about the pumpkin sale at the farmers' market. Then, let your kindergartner show and tell about the fall sign to another parent, sibling, grandparent or friend.