It's supposed to be fall, though you wouldn't know it here. Until recently our temperatures were still in the 80's and our leaves were barely changing color. But yesterday we got some rain and this morning finally have some cooler temperatures. Pumpkins are dotting the landscape, the squirrels in my yard continue their frenzied gathering of acorns, and the sounds of geese have me convinced that fall is finally here. There are many, many good books about the seasons, and fall in particular. I know I cannot name them all, so instead, here are some of my favorites.
Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell - This text describes the joy of visiting a farm in fall to pick the reddest apples and the perfect pumpkin.
Autumn Equinox: Celebrating the Harvest by Ellen Jackson - The book introduces the history of the Autumn Equinox and describes how many ancient cultures celebrated the harvest.
Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins - As with his other works, Robbins' photos are gorgeous and show 13 different leaves in actual size and wearing their fall colors. The book ends with an explanation of why trees lose their leaves in fall.
Autumnblings by Douglas Florian - One in a series of seasonal poetry, this book contains a variety of inventive poems about fall.
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara - This is a terrific book for examining pumpkins. Read my review, with lots of ideas for instruction, here.
In November by Cynthia Rylant - This is a lovely poetic text that captures the mood and feel of November. It's also a wonderful book for thinking about the seasons with your senses.
It's Fall by Jimmy Pickering - One in a series on the seasons, this one follows Sally and Sam (a dog) through an apple harvest festival, hayrides, Halloween and more.
Leaf by Leaf: Autumn Poems by Barbara Rogasky - This book contains 25 poems on fall accompanied by beautiful photographs. Here you will find poems by Yeats, Whitman, Poe, and more.
Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber - Beautiful colored linoleum prints and rhyming text showcase the leaves and events of the fall season. Eight leaf types are identified for children who want to try some identification on their own.
Leaves by David Ezra Stein - A young bear becomes concerned when the leaves begin to fall from the trees. This is a beautiful, quiet story that captures the feeling of fall.
Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro - This book in the Let's Read-and-Find-Out Science nicely explains what happens to leaves in the fall.
Nancy Elizabeth Wallace has created two terrific books for fall. Both feature cut paper collage illustrations that hold hidden facts and riddles. There is much to be found in a close examination of the pictures.
- Pumpkin Day - Follow the rabbit family on a trip to Pumpkin Hollow Farm where they select pumpkins for cooking, decorating, and carving.
- Apple, Apples, Apples - Follow the rabbit family on a trip to Long Hill Orchard as they learn about how apples grow before picking their own.
Here are some poems touching on the theme of fall to round out your study. I have included the first few lines of each, along with a reference to the book where you can find the poems in their entirety.
- October by John Updike, in A Child's Calendar.
- November by John Updike, in A Child's Calendar.
- Bullhead in Autumn by Marilyn Singer, in Turtle in July.
- Why do leaves change colors? by Amy Goldman Koss in Where Fish Go in Winter And Answers to Other Great Mysteries
- Moon of Falling Leaves by Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan London in Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back.
- Fall by John Frank, in A Chill in the Air: Nature Poems for Fall and Winter.
- The month is amber,
Gold, and brown.
Blue ghosts of smoke
Float through the town,
- The stripped and shapely
The ghosts of her
- in autumn
belly down in the shallows
red and yellow
- The oak tree always lets me know
When autumn has begun.
But why do its dark green leaves
Change colors one by one?
- So, each autumn, the leaves
of the sleeping trees fall.
They cover the floor
of our woodlands with colors
as bright as the flowers
that come with the spring.
- Fall sets fire
To the tips of trees,
And fans the flames
With an icy breeze.
I have just scratched the surface here of some wonderful books and poems that celebrate autumn. You will notice that I have not included books that cover the full change of seasons (year), or those that cover life cycles of plants. I know that The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree, From Seed to Pumpkin, and Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf are missing (among others).
In addition to these books, you'll find a range of free resources on my Pinterest boards. Here are a few screenshots with links directly to the fall-themed teaching boards.
I hope you find all these resources helpful. If I've missed a great resource for teaching about fall, please let me know!