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21 Fall Picture Books and Activities

October 4, 2021 by Janessa Fletcher




Do you switch out the books in your library with the changing of the seasons or months? It’s a great way to share changes and information with your students in a way they understand, through picture books. Books are such a vital part of our educational tool kits because reading is so important to instill in our students. There are so many amazing storybooks out there to celebrate the fall season. We have created a list of 21 Fall Picture Books and paired them with some amazing activities your students are sure to love! My class is doing #17 this next week. 😉

Fall Picture Book 1 – Hiking Day by Anne Rockwell

A young girl and her family go hiking up a nearby mountain for the very first time. As they climb up and up the path, they see everything from a friendly toad to a prickly porcupine, tall leafy trees to tiny red berries. After reading this book, take your students on a “nature hike” around the schoolyard. Use this Fall Scavenger Hunt as they look for only those things that occur in nature during autumn.

Book 2 – Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak

This is another great story you can read with your students before taking a “nature walk” with the scavenger hunt above. Join a young girl as she takes a walk through the forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every flower and creature and gust of wind, she says goodbye to summer and welcomes autumn.

Book 3 – The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming

Squirrel loves counting the leaves on his tree–red leaves, gold leaves, orange, and more. But hold on! One of his leaves is missing! On a quest to find the missing leaf, Squirrel teams up with his good friend Bird to discover who the leaf thief could be among their forest friends. Your students will love listening to this cute little story while they color squirrels, birds, and other fall images in our latest edition of Color by Activities. Grab a preview freebie here.

Book 4 – Leaves by David Ezra Stein

It’s a young bear’s first autumn, and the falling leaves surprise him. He tries to put them back on the trees, but it doesn’t work. Eventually, he gets sleepy and burrows into the fallen leaves for a long nap. When he wakes up, it’s spring, and there are suddenly brand-new leaves all around, welcoming him.

 

 

 

 

Fall Picture Book 5 – We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer

The official start of the harvest season occurs around September 21 each year. It marks the end of summer and the beginning of longer nights and shorter days.  For many cultures around the world, the fall equinox represents a time to celebrate the harvest and begin collecting and storing crops.

Looking at both the science of weather and the history of how the fall equinox has been celebrated by various cultures throughout the world, this book will inspire a new understanding of autumn and the harvest season.

Book 6 – Applesauce Day by Lisa J. Amstutz

Maria and her family visit an apple orchard and pick apples. Then it’s time to turn the apples into applesauce! Every year they use the special pot that has been in the family for generations to make applesauce. First, they wash the apples. Then Grandma cuts them into quarters. Follow each step in the process as everyone helps to make delicious applesauce!

Book 7 – Apple Picking Day by Candice Ransom

You can read this book with your students, or put a couple of copies into the student book bin for their fluency practice. The simple text is a great way for your students to work on independent reading. The kids bound with glee through the rows of trees, and race against other children to pick the most and the best apples. The story of their day is bright, fun, and full of light action. It’s told in easy-to-follow rhyme, ensuring a successful reading experience.

Read either of these books and then have your students work on some fun “apple inspired” activities.

Fall Picture Book 8 – Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one’s quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows.

9 – Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone

Autumn is awesome! Leaves change color. Animals fly south or get ready to hibernate. People harvest crops and dress up as scary creatures for Halloween. And then there are pickup football games to play, Thanksgiving foods to eat, leaf piles to jump in―all the amazing things that happen as the air turns crisp and cool.

10 – Hello, Fall! by Deborah Diesen

Fall is here! Colorful leaves whisper to each other. Geese honk as they flock across the sky. Pumpkins listen patiently from their patch. The season announces itself in all sorts of ways―if you stop to say hello! A grandfather and his granddaughter welcome fall in this sweet, whimsical story about finding beauty and wonder in every moment.

11 – We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger

Join three friends on a fun leaf-finding adventure! This bouncy new version of the popular song begs to be read out loud. There are lots of beautiful fall leaves to find! Three friends have a big adventure hiking over a mountain and through a forest to collect leaves of all kinds and colors. What will they do with all their leaves at the end of the story? Jump and play in them, of course!

After reading any or all of these fall picture books, create a leaf picture. You can glue a variety of leaves found out on the playground to create a “fall collage”. Or, make a leaf rubbing picture by placing leaves under a piece of paper and coloring over them with different colored crayons.

Fall Picture Book 12 – Leif and the Fall by Allison Sweet Grant and Adam Grant

Leif is a leaf. A worried leaf. It is autumn, and Leif is afraid to fall. “All leaves fall in the fall,” said the other leaves. But Leif is determined to find a different way down, and with his friend Laurel, he uses the resources around him to create a net, a kite, a parachute in hopes of softening his landing. The clock is ticking, the wind is blowing. What will happen when a gust of wind pulls Leif from his branch?

13 – Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis

When Buck, Billy, and their little sister Lil spy the biggest pumpkin they’ve ever seen, they can’t resist. Buck and Billy try to roll the pumpkin down the hill to show everyone, but it’s too big! Before they know it, it’s bumping and thumping and rolling down the hillside out of control. This read-aloud Halloween treat is perfect for kids and families.

You can read both of these fall books to your students and combine pieces of them to get started on a Pumpkin Launcher STEM Challenge. Ask your students to pay attention to all of the different ways that Leif thinks about to test the best way to “fall” to the ground. And the runaway pumpkin is just plain fun and will get your students thinking about how far they can launch their own during the challenge.

14 – The Very Last Leaf by Stef Wade

Lance Cottonwood is the best and brightest of the leaves, but even the top students on the tree have worries. Can Lance conquer his fear of falling and just let go when the time comes for his final exam, or will he let his worries take over? In this funny and encouraging picture book, best-selling author Stef Wade (A Place for Pluto) tells an engaging story and deftly addresses social and emotional struggles many kids encounter each day…feeling anxious, wanting to be perfect, facing fears, etc.

This is a great thematic book you can read while combining it with a well-rounded comprehensive Social Emotional Learning curriculum. You can combine the changing of the seasons with great life lessons for your students while building classroom community.

Fall Picture Book 15 – Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

Deep in the woods in an old white cabin, three friends make their pumpkin soup the same way every day. The Cat slices up the pumpkin, the Squirrel stirs in the water, and the Duck tips in just enough salt. But one day the Duck wants to stir instead, and then there is a horrible squabble, and he leaves the cabin in a huff. It isn’t long before the Cat and the Squirrel start to worry about him and begin a search for their friend.

16 – Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant

Scarecrows. They perch high above gardens and fields, with borrowed coats and button eyes and pie-pan hands that glint in the sun. What else is there to know about them? Perhaps more than we realize.

17 – The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry

This tender and affectionate story reminds us of the comforting power of friendship and the joy of helping others—a tale that will inspire and delight children for generations to come.

All the animals know not to mess with old Scarecrow. But when a small, scared crow falls from midair, Scarecrow does the strangest thing.… He saves the tiny baby crow. Soon a loving bond grows between the two unlikely friends. But is it strong enough to weather the changing of the seasons?

This week, my students are going to be reading The Scarecrow in class, and then they are going to create their own scarecrow in a fun small group game from our Editable Substitute plans. You don’t even need a sub to follow these amazing scripted plans. Let us take a week of planning off of your plate with this growing bundle (10 more days of plans will be added to this resource throughout the year).

With this activity, each of your students is given a set of scarecrow parts to color. Once they are done coloring, the fun begins. Roll a die (if you are doing this whole group, you can use a large blow-up die if you want to.) Depending on the number rolled, they cut out that part and begin to build their scarecrow. Such a fun way to combine literacy, math, and art all in one!

 

Fall Picture Book 18 – Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and one little pumpkin seed tries and tries to be scary. But he doesn’t scare anyone . . . not the snowflakes in winter, not the bees in spring, not even the watering can!

The wind tells him to be patient―he’ll be scary soon enough. But waiting is hard. Will the little seed ever be really, truly scary?

19 – From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer

Read and find out about how pumpkins grow from a tiny yellow seed to a pumpkin in this colorfully illustrated nonfiction picture book.

This is a clear and appealing environmental science book for early elementary-age kids, both at home and in the classroom. Plus it includes a find out more section with activities such as an experiment to show how plants use roots to drink water from the ground and a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds.

Both of these books are great ways to illustrate the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin. Grab this no prep set and your students can create their own pumpkin life cycle flow chart and mini-book.

20 – Pete the Cat: Falling for Autumn by James Dean

Pete the Cat isn’t sure about the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn. But when he discovers corn mazes, hayrides, and apple picking, Pete realizes there’s so much to enjoy and be thankful for about autumn.

Fall Picture Book 21 – The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard . . . clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap.

And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life! With bouncy refrains and classic art, this timeless Halloween story is perfect for reading aloud.

 

 

Embrace the changing of the seasons with your students with these fall picture books and activities. These read-alouds are great to use in the classroom, or through distance learning when you are reading to your class. Do you have any favorite fall books or activities that you do every year with your students? We would love to hear your ideas and pairings! Please leave them in the comments below.

Written by – Janessa Fletcher

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