Teaching overview

Learning points

  • On the day of the autumnal equinox, the number of hours of daylight and darkness are equal.
  • The autumnal equinox is usually on September 22nd or 23rd.
  • After the autumnal equinox, animals and plants react to the longer nights by preparing for hibernation or shedding their leaves.

Curriculum keywords

  • Seasons
  • Earth

5 things you didn't know

Day and night

1. On the day of the autumnal equinox, the number of hours of daylight and darkness are almost equal.

Equinox dates

2. The autumnal equinox usually falls on September 22nd or 23rd, but in 1931 it fell on September 24th.

September 24th

3. The next time the autumnal equinox will fall on September 24th will be in 2303.

Hibernation

4. Animals and plants react to the increasing hours of darkness after the equinox by preparing for hibernation or shedding their leaves.

Shedding leaves

5. Trees in one acre of forest can shed as much as 2000kg of leaves during autumn. That’s nearly as heavy as two giraffes!

Spark a discussion

  • What is the autumnal equinox?
  • The hours of daylight and darkness are equal on the autumnal equinox. Do you think this will be similar or different to the spring equinox?
  • Imagine you're an animal preparing to hibernate. How would you get ready?

Explore our resources

Complete your lesson with teaching resources on the seasons from Tigtag.

Go to Tigtag

Discover free online CPD for primary science from Reach Out CPD.

Go to Reach Out CPD