Song of the Week | Words and music by Al Start, a fantastically catchy harvest festival song
Harvest is a time when farmers, and gardeners pick and collect all the things they have grown. This song by Al describes harvest time and all kinds of food that we get to eat after it has been harvested. Yum!
Learn the song and makaton signs
First of all, have a listen to the song Let's Harvest and watch the performance video. Once you've had a listen watch the teaching video where Al teaches you the song and the Makaton signs. See how much of the song you can learn to sign. You can stop and start the video as often as you like until you've got it.
How plants grow
Have you grown some of your own flowers and vegetables over the last few months such as sunflowers or herbs, maybe tomatoes or lettuces? Think back and make a list of sentences that describe all the things you did to help your plants grow. Try and include the following vocabulary: sow, seeds, soil, pot, water, sunlight, roots, germinate, stem, light, temperature, bud, flower, fruit, petals. Use the list to create a planting fact sheet decorated with some of your own drawings.
Even if you didn't manage to grow your own plants do some research online and find out what plants need to grow then follow the activity above.
Have a look through your book collection at home or school and see if you can find any books that are about autumn and harvest, or closely related. For example, look for books about planting and growing, or with pictures that contain foods such as wheat, corn and barley, apples and plums for instance, or animals who gather food to hibernate with during winter such as squirrels. Pick one to read then write a book review.
What do you think these lyrics mean?
'The summer sun is lower in the sky, the leaves on the trees are slowly turning dry'.
(Answer: they are about the change of season as we move from Summer to Autumn).
Did you know? A deciduous tree is a tree that loses its leaves in winter. Can you find out the names of five types of deciduous tree that you'd expect to find near to where you live. Even better can you visit your local park and see if you can spot any?
Pick a tree near your home or school and take a photograph of it once a week during September and October. Make a collage of the photos or maybe create a slide show. Write down the changes that happened over the two months. Here's a clue: What happened to the colour and number of leaves on the tree during this period of time?
What else do you notice happening around you at this time of year?
Cooking (and eating!)
With a grown up, can you hold a Harvest cooking-fest, making food mentioned in the song, such as jam, toast and pies? Or bake bread and biscuits using roasted nuts and seeds. Share these with your friends and family and give them the option of a small charge and donate the money to a charity such as Feed my People or buy food to give to a local food bank.
Make a nature wand or journey stick
If you’re wondering what this is, a quick google search will bring up some photos showing a stick with natural things like flowers and leaves stuck to it. With an adult, go on a nature walk of the local area (if possible, through parks and past trees or in your garden if you have one). You’ll need a long stick (about the length of a 30cm ruler) and something to attach things to it - you could use string, wool, elastic bands or double-sided sticky tape. As you walk, collect interesting pieces of nature, and attach them to your stick.
Adults - What you need: colour swatches from a local DIY shop in autumnal shades i.e. greens, oranges, reds and browns or search for free versions online and print off.
Go for a walk in the park, or look in your garden if you have one and find something which matches each colour on your selected cards. It could be a leaf in every shade (hold each one up against the card to see if it matches). When you’ve finished, stick your colour card on some paper and glue or tape down the items next to the right colour.
Can fruit trees really bend and nod, like it says in the lyrics? This technique in writing is called personification. It’s a way of giving objects personality and human features. Use the word bank below to fill in these gaps and then try writing your own.
waved danced howled smiled
Lightning ________ across the sky.
The wind ________ in the night.
The moon ________ at the stars in the sky.
The leaves ________ in the wind.