According the calendar Autumn has officially arrived and here in Northern New England we’re approaching the peak of fall foliage colors. To help students understand why the leaves change colors in the fall, the Maine Forest Service has an animated video explaining why leaves change colors. The video is titled Maine’s Autumn Magic and you can watch it here. To help students understand some of the terms in the video, the Maine Forest Service has a glossary of tree terms.
USA Today has a simple interactive illustration that students can click through to see how the weather affects the color of leaves. Students can select individual tree leaves to see what different leaves look like throughout the seasons.
While not as informative as the two resources above, National Geographic has a couple of nice photo galleries of fall foliage. Click here for a small gallery of images from Acadia National Park. Click here for a gallery of images from the Adirondack Park.
Applications for Education
Fall provides a great opportunity for students to see science in action in the form of changing leaf color. If you can’t get your class outside to look at the various leaf colors in the fall, the two resources listed provide nice visuals to complement your lessons on changing leaf colors.