Fall is my absolutely FAVORITE time of year and I always go a little crazy with happy fall books in my classroom. So, here are my current favorite fall books with a few ideas for how to use each one to teach your kindergarten students some reading, writing, and phonics skills.
SPOILER ALERT: I’ll give a quick synopsis of what each book is about and the literacy skills I think you could easily teach and practice using each book. So, just so I don’t spoil the ending of the stories for you if you wanted to be surprised, you’ve been warned. Haha! :)
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1. Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
This sweet story is about a young fox named Fletcher who notices his favorite tree starting to look different. As he sees the tree’s leaves start to blow away, he gets more and more concerned and tries to catch all the leaves so they don’t get lost. Finally, a worried Fletcher climbs to the top of the tree to help it hold onto its’ last leaf, but soon the leaf pops off and he takes it home to bed with him. He worries about his tree all night, but wakes to find his beloved tree covered in sparkling icicles and looking more amazing than ever.
This book has a bunch of opportunities for making connections and predictions, as well as inferring. There are even some opportunities to identify a few cause and effect relationships and the vocabulary and imagery are amazing! This book companion for Fletcher and the Falling Leaves is a really fun way to connect the story to a variety of essential literacy skills.
2. Hello, Fall! by Deborah Diesen
First of all, I’m ALLLLLL googley-eyed over the illustrations in this book. Lucy Fleming just OUTDID herself. But, the story is equally lovely! It’s told from the little girl’s perspective as she recounts all the things she and her dad notice that announce that fall has arrived. They see animals preparing for winter, hear lots of leaves rustling about, taste the deliciousness of apples and cider, pick out some great pumpkins, and play together in the leaves. The story wraps up by naming the treasures of fall, including beauty, wonder, and love.
This book offers a bunch of chances for student interaction during your read aloud, including opportunities to use their 5 senses, practice inferring, predicting, and making connections. I’d recommend this adorable book to connect with almost any literacy skill you’re practicing!
3. Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell
Pumpkin Jack is the story about a pumpkin who gets carved into a jack-o’-lantern by a boy named Tim. Tim loves his jack-o’-lantern, names him Jack, and keeps the jack-o’-lantern for as long as he can. It soon begins to rot and Tim leaves him in the garden. As the seasons change, the abandoned Jack begins to wrinkle and mold and flatten, until it’s covered in snow. When Time finds what’s left of Jack as the snow thaws, just some pumpkin skin and seeds laying in the soil, he says good-bye for good. But, when the spring comes, Tim notices sprouts where Jack used to be and waters them until they grow into brand new vines, then flowers, and finally pumpkins! He shares them with his friends and chooses the perfect one to carve into a jack-o’-lantern, saying “Welcome back, Jack!” as he finishes it.
This book is a very story-oriented way to introduce the life cycle of a pumpkin! That means it’s perfect to connect your reading to science standards, as well as practice sequencing, making personal connections, predicting what might happen next, and finding causes and effects. This adorable craft is a great addition to learning with this book too!
4. Because of an Acorn by Lola Schaefer and Adam Schaefer
This book is an extremely simple book that describes the effects of an acorn by following what happens next because of an acorn. It starts with an acorn, which grows into a tree, which attracts a bird, which knocks a seed down into the soil, which grows into a flower, which produces fruit, which attracts a chipmunk, who lures a snack, who attracts a hawk, who knocks another acorn down from a tree and starts the whole cycle over again.
The illustrations in this book are super unique and beautiful and the story is a very simple one to retell, practice sequencing, and expand on with creative writing. This would also be a good book for expanding on what ELSE could have happened from the previous action, making it a great way to identify cause and effect relationships.
5. Leaves by David Ezra Stein
Leaves is a simple story about a young bear who notices leaves falling all around him for the first time. He tries to help the leaves, but gets really tired in the process. So, he fills a hole with the fallen leaves, sleeps through the winter, and is excited to welcome brand new leaves in the spring time!
The illustrations in this book are really pretty and there are very minimal words on the pages, which makes this book really great for making predictions and inferences, as well as sequencing and retelling. Students can also make connections to how the bear is feeling about the new seasons he’s experiencing.
6. Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Too Many Pumpkins is the story of Rebecca Estelle, an old lady who loves to garden, but HATES pumpkins. She will not look or touch or think of pumpkins until one day, a pumpkin gets smashed in her yard and she covers it in dirt. The next spring, pumpkins begin sprouting up and she ignores them some more, until fall comes and there are pumpkins growing all over her yard! She decides to make the pumpkins into baked goods and jack-o’-lanterns so people will come take all the pumpkins and pumpkin goods away, and it works! Rebecca gives it all away…except for a few seeds that she keeps to plant next spring.
This story gives a bunch of opportunities to make predictions because many of the pages end in “until…”. Students can make predictions and inferences about what could happen next, how Rebecca is feeling, why she might be feeling that way, etc. The story is a really good one to retell and practice sequencing, as well as identify the main idea and details.
7. The Roll-Away Pumpkin by Junia Wonders
The story of The Roll-Away Pumpkin follows a little girl who is chasing after her pumpkin that is rolling away. As she runs through town trying to catch her rolling pumpkin, people of the town join in to try to help. As they continue chasing, the pumpkin rolls toward a lady making soup, and the delicious pumpkin soup is served to all the townspeople who have been running around town trying to catch the pumpkin.
This book is written with a repeating phrase on many of the pages, which is a simple way to include your students, making it an interactive read aloud. Have your students read along and say the phrases they know are coming next, or even identify the same words they see on each page! You can also incorporate retelling, cause and effect, and some really creative writing assignments, like “Draw and illustrate what would have happened if the pumpkin didn’t roll into the soup.” or “How did the pumpkin get started rolling in the first place?” You can add in a simple pumpkin craft to complete the fun!
8. Fall Weather: Cooler Temperatures by Martha E. H. Rustad
This book is the perfect way to incorporate non-fiction text into your fall literacy explorations! Complete with a table of contents and short, simple chapters about fall facts, it covers topics such as when fall begins and ends and the kind of weather to expect in autumn. The book is illustrated and does not use photographs, but includes some extra facts (almost like captions) written on leaves on many pages. There are simple headings, chapter titles, an index, and a glossary included as well.
Fall Weather would be a fantastic way for students to make connections from a book to their real world. And, with an easy experiment for making rain gauge at the end, it makes for a super simple science-literacy connection as well. Retelling facts and practicing some non-fiction writing are great ways to extend the learning with this book!
9. Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson
This book is about Mouse and Minka venturing out into the leaf-covered world and experiencing all the details about the leaves. They noticed the color, shape, and texture of the leaves. They also demonstrate all the fun things to DO with leaves, like running, jumping, piling, and counting the leaves.
This is a great book to use to practice retelling, making connections, and color and counting skills. It also includes a lots of really creative verbs, which make for some great writing lessons and inspiration. The pictures are simple and bright and perfect for young students!
10. The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
This book is about a pumpkin who feels “ugly” because he’s shaped differently than all the other pumpkins. He tries to fit in many places, but no one ever accepts him or makes him feel like he belongs, UNTIL he finds a garden full of squash! He finally learns that he IS a squash, NOT an ugly pumpkin, and feels right at home.
There are so many fun skills to practice with this book! Students can practice inferring feelings, making connections to the characters and situations, predicting what could happen next, and making inferences from the details in the pictures. I found this resource that covers a BUNCH of pumpkin related skills that are super engaging and fun for your kinders! Also, the story of The Ugly Pumpkin rhymes all the way through the book, which is always great for little ones to hear and practice doing themselves. I LOVE mixing in a good poem-based, rhyming type of book in the middle of all the regular stories, just to mix it up. :)
11. Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie is a non-fiction book about the life cycle of a pumpkin. It includes tons of descriptive words and beautiful photographs of the seeds, sprouts, roots, leaves, flowers, vines, and pumpkins. It describes that pumpkins are a kind of squash and how they can look as far as color, size, and texture. The book wraps up by showing fun ways to use pumpkins, like making tasty treats and carving jack-o’-lanterns.
This book is perfect for practicing sequencing with drawing or cutting and gluing, and would be a great way to practice writing and illustrating real facts. The pumpkin life cycle element is a super simple way to tie fall literacy to science standards as well!
12. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
The book “The Biggest Pumpkin Ever” is about two mice who have big goals for a pumpkin…one wants to carve the biggest jack-o’-lantern and the other wants to win biggest pumpkin at the county fair. They discover they both want the same pumpkin, so they decide to work together to reach both their goals.
This is a good story to practice sequencing with for sure! Your kiddos could also practice identifying and connecting with feelings, as well as making predictions about what could happen next. And in case you need some fun extras, this book companion from my sweet friend Kelly is a great resource to practice literacy skills with the story.
13. Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemmingway
Around this time of year, many students are beginning to feel really comfortable with each other, their teacher, and their school environment. That can sometimes lend itself to some not-so-nice behaviors starting to come up. So, I always like to bust out Bad Apple in the fall, not only to practice a bunch of great literacy skills, but also to remind my students about being a kind friend to others.
Bad Apple is about a good apple, Mac, who is very happy. He meets a worm named Will who quickly becomes his closest friend. But, the other apples make fun of Mac for “having worms” and he starts to feel sad. Then, Will disappears and Mac knows he has to find his friend to feel happy again. So, he goes off to find him, and when he does, he is reminded that having good friends who make you happy is the best thing an apple could have.
This book is a perfect read to practice making predictions, identifying feelings, and making connections. It also has lots of opportunities to infer, both from the pictures and the story, and plenty of chances to let your students “turn and talk” about feelings, inferences, predictions, and connections they’re making as you read. This resource is a perfect companion for this adorable book!
Well, friends, there are my 13 favorite fall books this time around! I’m SURE I’ll have a bunch more to add to the “favorites list” by next fall, but for now, I hope there were one or two stories that you can share with your little learners to practice all those amazing literacy skills we’re continually teaching. :)
Happy fall, y’all! I’m cheering you on!