K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • Identify characteristics of the different seasons.
  • Recognize that plants, animals, and people adapt to the changing seasons in different ways.
  • Sort long ‘e’ vowel patterns into two groups.
  • Create a season wheel that illustrates characteristics of each season.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

60 minutes


  • Season To Season by Christine Price (or any other books about the changing seasons)
  • pictures of different nature scenes (possibly from calendars)
  • two large construction paper circles for each child
  • crayons or markers
  • brads


  • Help students recall the names of the four seasons and list them on the board.
  • Discuss characteristics such as temperature, weather conditions, and how animals, plants and humans respond to these changes.
  • Show students the pictures of different nature scenes and have them categorize them according to which season might be pictured and why.


  1. Discuss the meaning of the word “cycle” and relate this to the seasons of the year. Have students name other things that occur in cycles. Students might suggest such things as days of the week, time, or even life cycles of certain animals.
  2. Introduce the book Season To Season by showing the front cover. Ask students:
    • What season do you think is shown on the cover? Why?
    • Use your senses to tell what you might see, feel, hear, smell, or taste if you were in that picture.
  3. Introduce the word “adapt” and ask students to listen for how plants and animals adapt to the changing seasons as you read the story. During the story, take time to discuss cause and effect relationships within the story. Ask questions such as:
    • What is causing the trees to bud?
    • Why are the snakes all together in the cave?
  4. After reading the story, write the headings plants, animals, and people on the board. Have students list how each adapted to the different seasons.
  5. Call attention to the word ‘season’ on the board. Ask students what vowel sound they hear when they say the word and what letters make that sound. Then do the same thing for the word ‘tree’. Call attention to the two different vowel pairs that make the long ‘e’ sound.
  6. Now have students make two columns on a piece of paper with the words ‘Season’ and ‘Tree’ at the top. Go back to the story and have volunteers read each page of the story and look for words that follow the long e patterns. Students should write them under the correct column on their paper.
  7. Students are now ready to create a Season Wheel. Give each student two construction paper circles. Illustrate on the board how to divide the circles into fourths. On one paper circle, have the students list the seasons, in order, on the outside edge of each section. Then under each season, have the students illustrate or draw symbols that characterize that particular season.
  8. Demonstrate how to cut one-fourth of the second paper circle out. This circle will be placed on top of the first and a brad stuck through the center of the two circles. The students will now be able to turn the top circle to view the different seasons.


Students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of long ‘e’ vowel patterns by placing words from the story into the appropriate columns.
  • Correctly place pictures and descriptive words under correct seasons.(Pre-Assessment)
  • Tell one way plants, animals, and people adapt to the changing seasons.
  • Illustrate pictures to go along with the appropriate seasons.

Refer to the Rubric for a more detailed explanation.

Supplemental information

Teachers might also want to explain to the students that our seasons are caused by the tilt of the earth on its axis. More advanced students could research this and write a report for the class.


Additional follow up activities:

Have students write a paragraph about their favorite season using descriptive words from board and explain why. Place descriptive words on index cards along with the names of the seasons and have students sort the cards under the correct season.

Keep a running list of the two vowel patterns discussed in the lesson on a chart and have students add to it as they find other words that fit.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Reading: Foundational Skills

        • K.RFS.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. K.RFS.3.1 Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant. K.RFS.3.2 Associate the long and...
        • Grade 1
          • 1.RFS.2 Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes). 1.RFS.2.1 Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words. 1.RFS.2.2 Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including...

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Science (2010)
      • Kindergarten

        • K.E.1 Understand change and observable patterns of weather that occur from day to day and throughout the year. K.E.1.1 Infer that change is something that happens to many things in the environment based on observations made using one or more of their senses....

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 1

  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.07: Respond and elaborate in answering what, when, where, and how questions.
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.01: Elaborate on how information and events connect to life experiences.
  • Goal 5: The learner will apply grammar and language conventions to communicate effectively.
    • Objective 5.01: Use phonic knowledge and basic patterns (e.g., an, ee, ake) to spell correctly three-and four-letter words.