Wednesday, September 21, 2016

So Long Summer :: Hello Fall!

FACT: Seasons change as we orbit the sun.


Twice a year, around March 20 or 21 and Sept. 22 or 23, our sun shines directly over the equator. That event marks the beginning of spring or fall. What is the equator?

Public Domain photo

  1. an imaginary line drawn around the earth equally distant from both poles, dividing the earth into northern and southern hemispheres and constituting the parallel of latitude 0°.

In March when the sun shines directly over the equator, the event is called the spring or vernal equinox. In September when the sun shines directly over the equator, the event is called the fall or autumnal equinox

The Autumnal Equinox will occur in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. on Thursday, September 22, 2016. at 7:21 A.M.

Things to look for in fall:

1. Deciduous (di•si•jo͞o•əs) trees will change color and drop all their leaves. Evergreen trees will not. Evergreen trees will stay forever green. :-) Why do the leaves of deciduous trees change color? Use World Book Online to research. Remember, do NOT copy sentences. That is plagiarism, and it is against the law! Take notes, and then turn your notes into your own sentences. 

Photo by Grandma Barb

2. On the equinox, there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. The day and night hours are equal. However, as we continue into fall, the days will get shorter and the night hours will get longer. This pattern will continue until we reach the winter solstice. That is the longest night of the year and marks a new season, winter.

3.  Because the northern hemisphere is now tilted away from the sun, the days will start to become cooler. People will change their behavior. What sorts of behavioral changes will your family make as the days get shorter and cooler?  (In southern California, we have mild climate. We don't get too cold in our community.)

There are many fall festivals or holidays. Watch the BrainPop video about fall to learn about the many harvest festivals celebrated. Do you celebrate any of these autumn holidays? If so, please share so we can learn from you! 

Check out the FREE BrainPop video about Fall. 

4. Some animals in the northern hemisphere will change their behavior. As fall leads to winter, some animals migrate, or move, to a warmer area. Others try to fatten up for the winter they know is coming. 

Again, BrainPop Jr. has a FREE video about fall. 


Share some fun facts about fall!
Did you use BrainPop or World Book Online as a reference? 

If you are in the southern hemisphere, tell us what season you are enjoying! How are you changing your behavior? 


  1. Mrs Yollis
    We live in the Southern Hemisphere - because our class is in Taranaki, New Zealand (next to an active volcano!). We are currently changing our season and have just moved into spring. We are about to have Daylight Savings and we will be changing our clocks by one hour. We are changing our behaviour because we live in a location where 90% of our families are involved in Dairy Farming. Most of our families have finished calving for the year and we have started to move into regular milking. For our students this means helping out around the farm in a busy time for their families. We also have a Lamb and Calf Day coming up when the students bring an animal for our show day, we have 200 students and are expecting 120 or so animals. Do you have daylight savings in the USA? Do you have a pet or Calf Day at your School?
    Mr Webb and Room Three, Auroa Primary School, Taranaki, New Zealand.

    1. Dear Mr. ,Webb

      My name is Kimberly. I am very interested in
      your lamb and calf day!I want to know what is
      calving? Do the animals stay all day? How do you get all the animals in the school?

      I also want to know about the volcano. How do
      you know how to survive the volcano?


    2. Dear Mr. Webb,

      I heard that you can bring your pets to school!
      What is it like to bring a pet? Do they come into the classroom?

      How will you survive if the volcano erupts?


    3. @Myles Webb

      Hello from California! My name is Elie. I heard that your hemisphere of the world changed season from winter to spring. We just started the opposite season. We just started fall, or autumn.

      Our class was very interested in New Zealand. We heard that your class is pretty close to an active volcano! If I was in your class, I would be really scared! What would you do if the volcano actually erupted?

      We were very surprised that your class has a Lamb and Calf day! I wonder what that would look like!
      Please send a picture!

      A few questions for you, mate. What grade do you teach? What kinds of books do your students read?


    4. Mrs Yollis and students
      The best explanation that I can give about Lamb and Calf Day would be to direct you towards some of the media that we've produced at our school about Lamb and Calf Day. The 2014 video is located here:
      We are currently on a two week break for our School holidays! Thank you for your replies to our comment. We are a rural school in New Zealand and we have about 90% of our students involved in Dairy Farming so we have about 120 of our 200 students will raise and then bring to school a Lamb or Calf for judging. They usually spend several months raising the animals, caring for them and looking after them. As for the Volcano if you google 'Mount Taranaki' you can see pictures of the Volcano that is visible from our school. If you look on Wikipedia it says that it will erupt every 50 years and last erupted in 1861!

  2. Dear Mr. Webb

    Is it scary next to the volcano?
    Who made the event for bring your animal to

    How is it milking a cow? Hard or easy?

    My name is Leor, and I live in California. I'm a third grade student in Mrs. Yollis' class, and we enjoyed learning about you.


    1. Leor
      Thank you for the questions. Its a little different living next to the Volcano it is not active at the moment, but when you read Wikipedia it says that it is due to erupt. Its just kind of there all the time and we see it and look at it every day.

      I have to admit that I have never milked a cow. It is not easy to do from what I hear. The biggest farms that are around our School have up to 1000 Cows and some of our students have blogged about milking (if you go to this blog and post you can see a video about milking one of the cows

      Mr Webb

  3. @Myles W★bb

    Welcome to our wonderful state of California.
    I want to know how 120 calfs and lamb are going to fit in your school. Also, what would you do in the matter of an earthquake??? How would you survive?


    1. Dylan
      We have quite large fields here at our school. We have three large Football fields that are grass in our school. If you look at 'Auroa School, Taranaki, New Zealand on Google Earth (ask Mrs Yollis) and you have a look around our school then you will get an idea of the space we have. (We don't have any houses or people who live around our School as we have farmland around our school on all sides). In an Earthquake we have drills that we practise to ensure that we keep safe. We have Earthquakes fairly often, the last one that shook the classroom was last year, and we have to hide under our desks when they occur but they are not very often at all.
      Thank you so much for replying to my comment.
      Mr Webb

  4. @Mr Webb
    Greetings from California! You mentioned that most of the students parents own a farm. My grandma Meme is always at her cousins ranch. It has cows also. She has her horses there. She is teaching me how to ride a horse.

    What does the New Zealand flag look like?

  5. Dear Mrs.Yollis class,
    My favorite season is summer, but I enjoy fall,too. I am in Miss Otis's class. I am Kimberly's sister.

  6. Dear Mr Webb,

    Do you feel lucky to teach at a school?
    I know the school has a big yard, what sports do you play?


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