Book Briefs

Book Briefs: Fall Picturebooks

Check out these excellent fall-themed texts you can use with your little readers!

How many seeds in a pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karaspumpkin seeds

What’s it about? The students in Mr. Tiffin’s class have to guess how many seeds are inside the pumpkins, but Charlie, the smallest student in class, is frustrated when he feels all the best guesses are taken.

What do we learn? Estimating, counting by twos/fives/tens, seasons, pumpkin facts, vocabulary, celebrating differences, kindness and confidence.

Activities: Students can dig into their own pumpkins. They can count the seeds and examine the structures of the pumpkin.  Students can journal about their experiences, integrating their own drawings.

In November by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Jill Kastnerin november

What’s it about? With lyrical language, Cynthia Rylant introduces the reader to a friendly mouse who leads an exploration across the pages. The reader encounters “staying birds,” sleepy cows, hibernating bees and many more animals before gathering with the mouse and his family to share a meal and give thanks.

What do we learn? Science, animals, vocabulary, poetic conventions, change of seasons, exploration, gratitude.

 Activities: This is a wonderful read-aloud. Have children close their eyes and practice mindfulness as they listen to the rhyme and rhythm of the words. Have students create their own November images for a class scrapbook.

 Leaf Man by Lois Ehlertleaf man

What’s it about? In this colorful celebration of the season, the story follows the Leaf Man as the wind takes him on adventures across fields, waterways, and meadows.

 What do we learn? Leaf anatomy, nature, vocabulary, seasons, art, math, exploration.

 Activities: Create a fall collage with elements described in Leaf Man. Students can investigate leaf structures, examine nuts, and berries as they go for an outdoor adventure to gather items for their collage.

Scarecrow Pete by Mark Kimball Moulton and illustrated by Karen Hillard Goodscarecrow pete

What’s it about? In this gorgeously illustrated book, a young boy encounters a talking scarecrow who loves to read. The scarecrow encourages the young narrator to read the classics and a love of reading adventure ensues!

What do we learn? Classic literature, poetic conventions, vocabulary, art, friendship.

Activities: Bring in the classics from Scarecrow Pete such as Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan to inspire and extend discussions about literature. Have students share their favorite books. Construct a “Scarecrow Pete” poster highlighting the classics.

Download a printable poster for your classroom

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