Getting Festive for Fall with the Virginia Bloggers

Getting Festive for Fall with the Virginia Bloggers title image

Fall is a beautiful time everywhere, but especially in the mountains of Virginia. Each weekend in September and October, you are sure to find Apple Butter Festivals, Fall Festivals, Wine Festivals, or a Music Festival somewhere in our state, and the Virginia Bloggers wanted to celebrate a little fall festival of our own. There are fifteen of us participating today, and our posts are all different. Some may choose to share what’s happening in their classrooms this fall, share a favorite fall recipe, show you a few pictures from local events, but we’ll all have resources to highlight.  

Fall Partner Play for the middle grades

I am sharing a Fall Partner Play which is a new product type for me.  I’ve used partner poems with my tutoring students quite a bit as well as reader’s theater, and this is sort of a combination of both.  The script includes just two parts and is intended to be used in a Daily Five model or in guided reading.

Well, this all sounds great, right??  Well, I had an interesting problem arise with my freebie this week when I made the mistake of uploading it as soon as I finished it.  I did not expect it to sell so quickly, and I didn’t feel like it was quite fair to give it away for free five days later. Instead, I chose to create another one.  It is just as well because now I can highlight a favorite event from my part of Virginia, Apple Butter Festivals!  

Fall is for festivals

When our kids were young, we really enjoyed heading up with our friends and camping in the orchard our friend owns.  Picture the crazy kids running around having apple fights between the tents. This is after spending the day going through the corn maze, getting their faces painted, eating way too many sweets, and picking out pumpkins and apples.  I didn’t have time to dig through our old pictures, so I am sharing a few from my friend, Ruth from last year’s festival.  There is so much work that goes into these things, and there is always a huge crowd to enjoy it.  In fact, “Pick Your Own” weekend is coming up, so I believe a trip is in order!

Getting Festive for Fall with the Virginia Bloggers apple butter festival

The partner play, as I mentioned, is about apple picking.  The children in the script have a bet going about who will pick the most apples and win an apple pie from the other.  If you are teaching fables, I tried to weave a bit of “The Tortoise and the Hare” into the theme.  In fact, it would be fun to use this script in conjunction with reading and writing fables.  Here’s a glimpse of what’s included.

Getting Festive for Fall with the Virginia Bloggers before reading activities

Before reading activities

With each partner play, I include a schema builder of some sort to get the kids thinking about the topic. This one is an ABC brainstorm about apple picking. You can also add to it after you’ve visited the orchard or completed the reading.

I also include vocabulary task cards and an organizer for the teacher to preteach challenging words to the students prior to reading.

During Reading procedures

Once your students are ready to read, the next step is to talk about procedures. I encourage my students to mark up the text with annotation symbols…??, connections, ah-ha points. I give the students guiding questions to use as they read so that they are thinking about text evidence and important elements of the story.

Getting Festive for Fall with the Virginia Bloggers during reading
Getting Festive for Fall with the Virginia Bloggers after reading activties

after reading activites

Repeated reading is encouraged with partner plays. This set includes a graphic organizer and a writing prompt about apple picking. You can use one printable on the first reading and the writing prompt after reading.

All of my partner plays are organized in this way, and I have two large bundles available. One is geared more to grades 1-3 and the other is more for grades 3-4. This particular play is geared to grades 2-4.

Purchase this partner play on TPT HERE.

fall partner plays you’d enjoy:

Or…get the bundle:

other posts you might like for fall:

Would you like to see other blog hop posts? Check out the next stop on Owls & Lessons, Etc


Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. You know I LOVE Reader's Theater! Getting ready to share this post and head on through the hop! Hope it is a good one for you! Thanks for the great freebie!

  2. This is so wonderful. I'm glum to pair up kids and see how they approach it differently.

  3. These are great! I love the idea of pairing up the kids instead of having large groups doing a reading. Getting ready to group kids & start some close readings with my struggling readers. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the Giveaway and hop. I have never tried partner plays as I have a tutoring business, but I love the one you posted, so I may have to give it a try. Have a wonderful holiday season.

  5. Your play looks like fun…I love to incorporate fluency activities into our day, so this will be great!

  6. Thank you for all of your hard work on this blog hop! I'm so happy to be a part of this, but I really appreciate everything you did to make it happen! I'm enjoying hopping through on this beautiful Saturday morning! I love these partner script sets so much! I will definitely be adding them in to my Read With Partner rotation starting next week, whether I win or buy them! πŸ™‚

  7. Oh, and our topics in 5th grade are so much more content based, but when I can get anything related to science or geography I consider it a double win! I know that these are based on grades 3-4, but they are really perfect for my low readers.

  8. Rachel-I plan to write some focused on content because my kids need extra exposure to the content skills…and fluency practice. I used these with my 4/5 kids this week (struggling readers just like yours), so I do think they'd be perfect for your low kids too. Email me what content material you have coming up. I will try to get them done so you can work them in. I'll need them too!

  9. Thanks for organizing this Blog Hop! I love your scripts! They are great!

  10. Thanks so much for the Hop! I had fun, ANNNND got some of my creativity back for thinking of games to make for my kids. Love the scripts- they're going to help me out with my two kids reading above grade level this year.

  11. Ooooo- did not read comment directions- Ok, so I'm going to be teaching severe weather- so doing sort of a news broadcast with safety tips would be cool.

  12. Carla, Thank you for EVERYTHING you have done to organize this hop – it's amazing! Can't wait to use these scripts for my "high fliers" in my classroom…we've been working a lot on fluency and expression, so it'll be perfect!

  13. I will be teaching about animals, habitats, Thanksgiving, Christmas Around the World, ML King, Jr., Presidents, landforms, solar system, and force and motion.

  14. I've never tried Partner Scripts but after looking at the freebie one I'd love to give it a try, probably for holidays but with vocab and comprehension/connect to text/self, etc. it would also work in ELA centers. Thanks for sharing your idea, participating in the blog hop, and having the giveaway!

  15. These are such a great idea! Definitely can use this in small group:)
    Thanks so much for organizing the hop – it has been so fun!

  16. Loving the hop & the freebies! Thanks for participating…

  17. These look like a great idea and would help my kids with fluency! This month we are looking forward to our pumpkin investigation unit at the end of the month πŸ™‚

  18. Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication!

  19. I already mentioned this on TPT when I downloaded your freebie today, but I love love love these partner scripts! They fill a need in my center/partner work perfectly! I am always looking for resources for "read to someone" that takes about 40 minutes – your product is excellent. My kids really enjoyed these last week – keep them coming & I'll keep buying πŸ™‚

  20. Anonymous

    Loved the hop! Thanks for sharing.

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