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Traveling Through the Seasons

Context for this Lesson


TOPIC: Seasons 
GRADE: 1st Grade
During each season:

  • What does the temperature/weather feel like/look like outside?
  • What the trees look like?
  • What are the animals doing?/What types of animals might you see?
  • What are you wearing?


  • Targeted Objectives:
    • 1.8C: identify characteristics of the seasons of the year and day and night
    • Patterns occur in the cycle of the seasons and day/night.
    • Earth rotates causing day/night.
    • Earth revolves around the Sun at an angle, causing the seasons.


  • Season Quilt Squares

"Today we are going to be exploring Spring, but before we go on our exploration, let’s talk a little bit about what you think we might find in Spring."

  • What does the temperature/weather feel like/look like outside?
  • What the trees (outdoors) look like?
  • What are the animals doing?/What types of animals might you see?
  • What are you wearing?
  • What sounds might you hear in springtime?

Jot down student ideas on a word web, and place the web in a place that can be readily seen by the students during the rest of the activity.
"Wow! You certainly know a lot about spring. Well that’s a good thing, because in a moment we are going to be using our imaginations to travel to Spring and explore the season."


"In a moment we're going to get into our Travel Machine. What do you think we can do, as students, to make this a successful journey?" Take a moment to establish expectations. Take this time to set up the idea of frozen images with our bodies, and 3, 2, 1, FREEZE! Perhaps try an example before we set out. This sets up a clear cue to freeze during the Narrative Pantomime (students acting out what the teacher describes) that happens through this lesson.
"Great! I think we’re ready to begin! But before we get in our travel machine, I think we need to pack.
Packing Questions:

  • If we are going to spring, what things might we need to bring with us?
  • What do we want to wear (on feet, legs, torso, head, hands)?
  • Since we’re going to a short trip, what else might we want to bring?

After we pack, take a moment to prepare the machine and then take off. The students and teacher act out the following:  

  • Take out your screwdriver - tighten up the machine
  • Open the machine and get in!

Once we’re inside  

  • What do we need to do before we take off?
  • How do we make our time machine go? (seat belt, keys, enter in the coordinates, etc)
  • Count down - take off - the machine lands when our hands hit the floor.

When we land - we can hear what spring sounds like outside
"What sounds do you hear?" (birds, frogs, wind, rain, etc) "We can hear raindrops!" - students make the sound of rain, but then the rain stops! We get out of the machine
Once we step out of the machine, what does the weather feel like - relate it to the clothes they’re wearing - how they position their bodies. Engage in the following questions:  

  • What are some plants we see?
  • How do the trees look?
  • What does the sky look like?

As students name these environmental elements, we become those things as a group. Some students might embody the different plants, others might embody the weather/sky. All together we make a big frozen picture of what the plants/environment looks like in springtime, and we take a picture. In this moment you can actually take a picture so that students have a way to refer back to/reflect on their trip to spring later. 
"Let’s see if we can find some animals and see what they’re doing during spring time? Raise your hand, what animals do you see?"  
Again, we become the animals as a group, then we get to choose an animal for the big frozen picture of animals in spring.
After we create these pictures, it starts to rain again. We get out our umbrellas, and go back to the travel machine, repeating the same process of getting into the machine/taking off. Once we land back in the classroom, we get out of the machine and take off our rain jackets.
Thank you all so much for coming with us on our journey to Spring today. (We can talk about favorite part of the journey if we have time). Now that we’ve explored the season of Spring, we’re going to draw some of what we saw on our quilt squares!



  • What happened when we traveled to spring? 
  • What did we find? 


  • How is spring different from the other seasons? 


  • Students create Quilt Squares - On the quilt squares draw images of what they saw while exploring spring
Extensions/Applications : 

After completing the Travel Machine sequence with one season, you can use the same model with the other seasons.