PBS in the Classroom

Using the Change of Seasons to Spark Curiosity and Encourage Exploration

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A Seasonal PBS LearningMedia Collection that Encourages Curiosity

The collection has a wide variety of learning tools that span science, art and math. The collection encourages curiosity: Why do animals squirrel away food?  How do apple seeds grow into apples? Choose media clips, extension activities, articles, and crafts to spark interest and encourage the school-to-home connection. Children will learn about the world around them through these engaging seasonal lessons and activities. 

After receiving two different lessons, I couldn't wait to put them into action. I incorporated both in my classroom and let me tell you these were so fun to do! Each was well thought out and organized; the format was super easy to follow and was full of all the things a teacher could ask for. It introduced the topic, provided new vocabulary words, included conversation starter questions, offered a list of suggested books and there were extension activities to support the topic! It also included one of my favorite things; links to PBS KIDS media clips like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Elinor Wonders Why. The clips were only 2-3 minutes long which is the perfect length to keep a preschooler’s attention! 

Taking Learning Outdoors
Using media in the classroom can be challenging. For me, I played the clips using my iPad and a smart TV. I introduced the lesson, Nuts and Seeds: Part 1, with help from Elinor Wonders Why. I used a media clip to spark my students’ interest in the topic and wow did it work. My preschoolers couldn’t wait to start talking  about nuts and seeds and to see if we could find any around our school or their homes. We walked around our school and discovered so many acorns-- just like Elinor and her friends did.

A Scavenger Hunt to Extend our Classroom Learning

After showing the clip and talking about how acorns grow on trees, we decided to collect some and see if we could grow anything. We went outdoors and the kids collected both acorns and seeds. We also went on a scavenger hunt to look for different fall items surrounding our playground. Afterwards, we went back to our classroom and brought the items from outside in. We placed the acorns and all the seeds we found into a sensory table to observe them. Collecting the nuts and seeds after watching the clip made our learning experience so fun and engaging. We also added the nuts and seeds to a plastic bag, added water, and taped them to the windows. Now we can't wait to see what sprouts out of our nuts and seeds as we watch them grow! 

Extension Ideas for Learning On the Go
I am glad that I could take part in a special project that blends seasons-themed lessons from the PNC Grow Up Great® Lesson Center with PBS KIDS properties like Nature Cat, Elinor Wonders Why, and Sid the Science Kid. The lessons provide teachers, parents and caregivers with lesson plans and materials that can be used in the classroom and easy to follow ideas that can be continued at home. Each lesson in the Changing Seasons collection includes extension activity ideas and other resources from PBS KIDS, PBS KIDS for Parents and PBS LearningMedia. Being part of this project and learning more about the classroom materials PBS KIDS creates with partners was eye-opening for me. As a teacher, I am so fortunate to have resources like this to incorporate in my classroom. To have all of these resources in one place is AMAZING! The materials are even available in English and in Spanish too.

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall: Stay Tuned for New Seasonal Collections
The Changing Seasons collection launched on PBS LearningMedia with fall-themed resources and over the course of the next months, the Changing Seasons Collection will extend to include content for winter and spring. The lessons have been co-designed by top museum and education partners to broaden the scope of discovery. Content contributors who are partnering with PBS KIDS to create the content include: Delaware Museum of Natural History, Kentucky Science Center, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and The Cleveland Orchestra.

The PBS Changing Seasons collection helps our students expand their thinking while also opening their eyes to the world around us. The creative ideas for additional activities and extensions enhance the available media resources. My preschoolers are really enjoying these experiential activities -- we are having fun while learning inside and outside the classroom.

Rubi Guido

Rubi Guido Preschool Teacher

Rubi Guido is a preschool teacher in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and has taught preschool at a Catholic school for 9 years. Rubi’s main priority with her students is to help them get excited about school and learning!

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