“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” – Michael Crichton
As those who live in the northern hemisphere have no doubt noticed, leaves have started to turn colour, and children everywhere are gathering them up for autumn projects.
As a year-round project, put a question up on a fridge or chalkboard and hide a card with the answer. The winner will be the first child to find that card and read it aloud to you.
Question: Leaves have always turned colour in the autumn. True or false?
Answer: False. Autumn didn’t always exist! Back before the Conquest, a year was divided into halves: the cold half (winter) and the warm half (summer). Gradually, the transitional periods in between began to be recognized as well, but it wasn’t until the late fourteenth century that the words ‘spring’ and ‘autumn’ came into general use amongst English speakers.