Last updated: December 29, 2020
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
- Grade Level:
- Lower Elementary: Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade
- Lesson Duration:
- 60 Minutes
- Additional Standards:
- NGSS 1-LS1-1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants or animals use their external parts to meet their needs
1-ESS1-2. Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of daylight to the time of year.
What are some ways that we know it is winter? Why is winter important to living things in Glacier National Park?
Students will be able to: list Montana’s four seasons-spring, summer, fall, winter and use visual/picture cues to identify seasons.
Every season in Montana holds surprises. Rainfall is generally light, with most falling in spring between May and July. Average rainfall for Western Montana is 18 inches a year; 13 inches for the eastern side of the state.
During summer, brief mid-day thunderstorms are common, and heavy rains provide cool afternoon temperatures. By the time fall rolls around, the weather becomes cooler. In October, beautiful fall colors burst to life across the state. Frost often covers the ground before the sun gets high enough to chase it away. Winters in Montana, while usually cold, have few extended cold spells. Montana’s cold spells are sometimes interrupted by warm, dry chinook winds that cause mild periods that last for ten days or more. Annual snowfall in Western Montana can reach up to 300 inches (25 feet) in the Rocky Mountains; Eastern Montana may get as little as 20 inches. Heaviest snowfall occurs between November and March, but snowstorms can occur as early as mid-September or as late as early May in the higher Southwestern part of the state. In the spring and early summer months, when the snow in the mountains begins to melt, Montana’s river’s swell with run-off. Heavy rains falling during the spring thaw constitute a serious flood threat. Ice jams in the rivers during the spring can also cause flooding.
Provide photos of Montana in summer, fall, winter, and spring.
- Gather images from Montana, or Glacier National Park, in each season. This can be done online with a search for “Glacier National Park winter” or “Montana winter.” Continue collecting images for spring, summer, and fall.
- Introduce the names of the seasons to students. Discuss what they know about each season with questions like: What happens to plants? What are animals doing? What do you like to do outside in this season?
- Bring images of different seasons up on an interactive whiteboard, one at a time. Discuss each picture. Have students decide what time of the year the picture shows. Ask students to give specific reasons to support their answers.
- Explain that, just like each of the other seasons, winter is a special time of the year in Montana. It is usually a time of colder temperatures, snowy weather, and shorter days and longer nights. These are some of the things that make winter different than the other seasons.
Listen to and sing this Seasons Song to remember how each season is different (or make up your own seasons song to a familiar tune).
Here we go, oh, oh
Seasons of the year
Here comes the spring with the rain pouring down
Here comes the spring with the flowers in the ground
Here comes the spring with the rainbow in the sky
Here comes the spring to bring new life
Here comes the summer with the heat from the sun
Here comes the summer with the kids having fun
Here comes the summer with the warm breeze
Here comes the summer with the trees so green
Here comes the fall with the leaves changing color
Here comes the fall with the weather getting cooler
Here comes the fall with the leaves falling down
Here comes the fall with the wind blowing loud
Here comes the winter with the ice and the snow
Here comes the winter with the freezing cold
Here comes the winter with the days getting shorter
Here comes the winter with the nights getting longer
Have students complete the Winter Wheel on the following pages. Students can write words or draw pictures to complete each sentence about winter.
Ask students to describe characteristics of each season and to tell which season different pictures show, supporting their answers with information gathered from the photo.