Teaching in the south provides a multitude of problems when teaching the change in seasons. It doesn’t snow in Florida and we don’t have many colored leaves in the fall. Also we have birds living with us year round. Plus our literature doesn’t help much since it is typically not written for tropic climates. However you can overcome the stereotypes by adopting a tree on your campus.
At the beginning of the school year, in the heat of September, take blankets outside and lie down under a tree on your campus. Draw pictures of what you see – the leaves, squirrels, birds and insects. Record the sounds you hear and take pictures of what you see - digital cameras now make this so easy to download and share. Use twine to place a circle on the ground around the canopy of the tree and observe everything living under the tree. Create a population study by counting the various families of living things seen. Each month pay a visit to the tree. You will begin to notice that different kinds of birds come and go; the leaves will begin to change colors; and the population of insects change. Each month add a new population graph to your scrapbook.
By the end of the year you will have documented a year of change. You will see the gradual changes of insect and bird populations, changes in leaf and bark coloration, temperature changes, and precipitation levels. Conducting long range studies is an important part of becoming scientists. There are seasons in the Deep South, but sometimes you just have to go out and look for the changes.