Fall in Virginia is one of the most beautiful times of the year, and I believe that’s why my husband and I came to love it so much. As children return to school and the leaves change colors, you can feel excitement in the air. There are so many amazing books about fall, and they are fantastic mentor texts for fall themed topics. In this post, I’ll share reading and writing ideas perfect for the fall season.
Best Books about Fall:
When I think of fall literature, so many books come to mind. I will highlight a few of my favorites and authors. For kindergarten through second grade, the highlight of course is Halloween, but they also enjoy exploring pumpkins, apples, bats, spiders, leaves, squirrels, Veteran’s Day, school routines, football, and life cycles.
Lois Ehlert has written quite a few wonderful books for the primary grades, and the text is fairly controlled. I love the beautiful photographs she uses in her books and even the feel of the pages. Nuts to You, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, and Leaf Man are three to put on your list.
Andy Shane and the Pumpkin Trick is a newer series great for the primary grades. I love the shorter chapters and adorable story themes. They are written at a 2nd grade level and work well for transitional readers.
Apples and Pumpkins
Anne Rockwell is an author that I seem to be coming across more lately. She writes mostly nonfiction for the lower grades, so if you’re trying to weave in more nonfiction, check out her books. Apples and Pumpkins has been around a while. The vocabulary is controlled, and it’s a great book if you’re getting ready to take a group to the pumpkin patch or to pick apples.
Scarecrow and In November:
Upper grade students need and enjoy picture book read alouds too, and there are so many wonderful options that truly have meat to them. They work beautifully for mentor text lessons which means we do not have to sacrifice comprehension when we share them. With my 4/5 kids, I used In November and Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant to introduce writing projects we did last year, and I was so pleased with what the children produced.
Books for Grades 3-5
There are many other great options, and the writing ideas are endless. What better way to teach children about the Six Traits of Writing than through descriptive books like these. Of these books, two were written by Eve Bunting. I have used several of her books as mentor texts too. In the spring, we enjoyed Butterfly House and Sunflower House. The themes in One Green Apple make it one of my very favorites, and as I looked through my collections, I discovered Peepers. I haven’t used it, but I thought it might make a great personal narrative lead.
Fabulous Fall Freebies:
Beyond reading and writing lessons, students can learn and practice with these great center freebies and activities.
Have your students write a personal narrative about the fun we have in fall picking apples, getting pumpkins, and enjoying the beautiful color. This freebie can accompany any book that describes fall. It follows the four square writing plan.
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I grew up in Iowa, and I am still a Cyclone fans deep down, but Virginia is home for us. We’ve called Virginia home for 23 years now which is so hard to believe. I was just starting my teaching career at the time, and we’d just gotten married the year before. We had no children, and we got to spend our weekends hiking and camping in the mountains, water-skiing at the lake, and exploring this beautiful state. Life was so carefree back then (and if you’re newly married without children…enjoy the quiet time you have together!!) I think that’s why I love this season so much today, and we’ve really enjoyed sharing our love of fall with our children. In this post, I shared some of my favorite fall books and resources. I hope you find them helpful and that you enjoy fall as much as we do.
What special activities do you enjoy with your students in the fall? I would love to hear, and I’m sure other readers would too. Share your ideas in the comments.