5 Books to Read this Fall with your Students
To be honest, fall is my favorite season. It's probably because my birthday's in the fall, but I also relish the milder temperatures and all the festivities that fall brings. Now that I have a little one, I can't wait to read seasonal titles and teach him about what happens in nature during the autumn.
With my school kids, I love reading books that relate to the season but describe it in a poetic or whimsical way. Seasonal titles can also be entertaining! Here is my short list of children's books you should pick up this fall:
1. Leaves by David Ezra Stein (2010)--This story is about a bear discovering falling leaves for the first time. The text is simple enough for short attention spans, and the illustrations are playful and charming. This book comes in a board book format too, if you want something sturdier for little hands!
2. Pick a Pumpkin by Patricia Toht (2020)--I love the sensory details and rhythmic cadence of this story. "Stop for mugs of spicy punch, toffee apples, sweet to crunch." This book is a great example of how reading books aloud can enhance a child's vocabulary. I would explain the word "snugly" ("Pumpkin snugly in your arms") and ask a toddler to identify objects like the wagon in the picture below. Early elementary students can identify the words that rhyme after you read each page. This book would also be a great read aloud before a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch!
3. Creepy Carrots (2012) and Creepy Pair of Underwear (2017) by Aaron Reynolds--These books are hilarious! They are great for students in grades 1-3. In the first book, Creepy Carrots, Jasper Rabbit has a habit of taking carrots from a garden. His guilt causes him to imagine the carrots are stalking him (or is he really imagining it after all?). In the second book, Jasper's mom gives him a creepy glow-in-the-dark pair of underwear. No matter how hard he tries to get rid of it, it keeps reappearing! Children especially delight in this book's illustrations.
My third grade students love these books so much that we read them both the week of Halloween, and then compare and contrast the stories. You can come up with ideas together as a class, or sort pre-written ideas. Check out my TpT resource to learn more!
4. Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf (2017)--In this story a family embarks on an annual tradition of meeting friends for a Thanksgiving celebration in the woods. The mixture of traditional and nontraditional elements makes this an interesting read. I would invite students to share their own family traditions related to Thanksgiving. Maybe someone has a unique idea to share!
5. I am Thankful: A Thanksgiving Book for Kids (2020)--This book shares several different children experiencing different Thanksgiving activities: going on a fall field trip, baking pie, watching the Thanksgiving Day parade, etc. There's something for everyone and your students will love making text to self connections. The stories are all connected by a repeated refrain: "I am thankful. My heart grows. Love fills me from head to toes". This rhythmic, poetic style of writing is consistent throughout the text. Your student will love hearing it read aloud!
What's your favorite autumn read? Have you read any of these books? I'd love to hear from you!