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Putnam County R-I Schools

Elementary School


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Take it all in this Fall!

We are off to a great start in speech and language services! I loved hearing about all the summers, ball games, and camping trips. Now that school has begun, and we are leisurely making our way into Fall Themes. One particular Fall theme I enjoy is the turning of the leaves. Putnam County provides ample landscape to explore this theme in real-time. Take some time, take in the beauty surrounding the roads, and grab your language-learning toolbox.  

In speech/language, we will be discussing, comparing/contrasting, and describing different types of leaves (pointy, round, red, green, soft, crunchy, delicate) in different manners (how they look, how they smell, how they feel/sound under your feet, how they show the wind’s movement and bluster).  A great higher-level language skill is discussing how and why the leaves change.    

How do leaves change color?

In the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves a part of their fall splendor.

Why do leaves change color in the fall chromatography?


The chlorophyll already in the leaves breaks down, revealing the other pigments inside the leaves that were previously masked by the green chlorophyll, particularly yellow and orange. Red pigments are then created when sugars in the leaves react with other chemicals to form the red pigments.

There are some great novel words in these how and why answers.  Novel words are like lifting heavy weights in your brain.  Several things have to happen all at once, creating a unique, “heavy” language learning experience.  We listen to the word (how it sounds, does it have a prefix/suffix or a familiar part), try to see the word as spelled, use the context surrounding the word for clues, contemplate the word’s place in a sequence, and draw upon what we already know about the main idea.  It’s a wonderful language-enrichment experience at any age!

So again…take some time and dig for Fall beauty accompanied by your friendly neighborhood SLP’s language-learning toolbox. I practice my lessons and enjoy my drives to and from Unionville daily during these Fall months. This week, I particularly enjoyed a view of an old CAT Caterpillar sitting nestled among the color-changing scenery.  My Grandfather, Harvey Musgrove, owned and drove CAT Caterpillars until his death in 1996.  Each morning, as I cross the bridge, it is a welcome and heart-warming sight. Today the fall colors blended at the caterpillar’s sides with a misty fog outlining the road.  Beauty abounds.