Fall Books for Children

Books About Autumn:

Fall is perhaps the best season in the school year. During fall, we get to enjoy the outdoors, learn, have plenty of activities in and out of school. It’s an ideal time to learn about season and incorporate cross curriculum across subjects. Spring would be more exciting in the school year if it wasn’t for the yearly standardized test craze. Nothing beats fall. There is simply too many unbeatable things fall offers. Here are some my classroom favorite fall reads that are engaging and cross curricular.

"Awesome Autumn" by Goldstone - Lesson Plan

“Awesome Autumn” by Goldstone – Lesson Plan

“Awesome Autumn” by Goldstone –  is a comprehensive non-fiction for K-3. The text is visually engaging, and the book presents changing seasons, equinox, winter solstice, vanishing chlorophyll, harvest, and animal adaptations perfectly. This book is a great resource for many additional questions and further study of autumn and other seasons.

Fall Mixed Up Lesson Plan - by Bob Raczka

Fall Mixed Up Lesson Plan – by Bob Raczka

“Fall Mixed Up” by Bob Raczka – is a beloved humorous picture book. If your students are like every other students I ever met in primary grades, they love to correct other people. They will love catching all the backwards things in the text.

“Apples turn orange.

Pumpkins turn red.

Leaves float up into

blue skies overhead.”

(Note: Don’t expect the same type of enthusiasm when you asked them to correct their own writing :).)

Bob Racka’s “Fall Mixed Up” offers super humorous engaging text and illustrations that are a discussion of their own. This is a definite re-read year after year.

Fall Mixed Up Lesson Plan - by Bob Raczka

Fall Mixed Up Lesson Plan – by Bob Raczka


How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin Lesson - K - 2

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin Lesson – K – 2

“How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara is another must have in your fall reading selection. “How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin” story incorporates language arts, math, and science in the story. It’s idea for practice skip counting by 2s and 5s, retelling the story, sequencing, comparing numbers, estimation, relation of number of seeds in a pumpkin and its size/ length of growth, etc. 






A Long Walk to Water- by Linda Sue Park

Reading Level: 5.9″

Grade level: 6 – 12

Subject: Language Arts, Historical Fiction,

World History

Plot Summary:

“A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue novel alternates between two narratives, following a Southern Sudanese girl, Nya, from 2008 – 2009 and a Southern Sudanese boy, Salva Dut, from 1985 – 2009. The boy, Salva Dut, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan as a result of the civil war. In his search for safety, Salva Dut walks to Ethiopia and back to Sudan and Kenya. In his journey, Salva grows from a boy to a young man leading more than 1500 “lost boys” across Sudan to the safety of Kenyaʼs refugee camp. Salvaʼs story of survival, hope, and perseverance is unlike any other. On the other hand, Nyaʼs story parallels and complements the story of Salva Dut. Nyaʼs life revolves around getting water on daily basis for months on end, until things change for the better with the building of a water well and new school.

This is such an amazing story that you won’t put down until you’re finished,

and I greatly recommend it.  To learn more about Salva Dut’s project go to:

PBS video “Lost Boy of Sudan”  http://video.pbs.org/video/1726685656

Water For Sudan http://www.waterforsudan.org/

For “A Long Walk to Water” Lesson plan go to http://tinyurl.com/7a5ozjd

A Long Walk to Water - by Linda Sue- Novel Guide

A Long Walk to Water – by Linda Sue- Novel Guide


The Empty Pot – by Demi… A timeless tale…

The Empty Pot - by Demi - Lesson Plan

The Empty Pot – by Demi – Lesson Plan

Grade Level: 2 & 3

Subject : Language Arts, Reading Comprehension

Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3

Grade Level Equivalent: 3.5

Lexile® measure: 630L

DRA: 28

Guided Reading: M

Genre/Theme: Folktales

Topic: Honesty

“The Empty Pot’ – by Demi is a timeless Chinese folk tale about honesty. The Emperor gives out the flower seeds to the children and says that whoever grows the most beautiful flower will get to be his successor. A little boy Ping, receives his seed and he works hard to have it grow but to no avail. Ping feels ashamed and is worried that other children, who have grown beautiful flowers, will make fun of him. In spite of his empty pot, Ping decides to bring it to the Emperor. The Emperor does not appear happy to see all the beautiful flowers that children had brought because he knew that they did not grow the seeds that he gave them, since the seeds that he gave out were cooked and couldn’t grow. Ping was the only one who brought “the empty truth” and as a result gets to become the next Emperor. The “Empty Pot” makes it for an ideal character building story for primary grade students.

The Empty Pot Lesson Plan

The Empty Pot - by Demi - Lesson Plan

The Empty Pot – by Demi – Lesson Plan


Happy Reading!

Mrs. Lena, M.Ed. 

“The Three Questions” by Jon Muth


The Three Questions Lesson Plan

The Three Questions Lesson Plan

Interest Level – K-3

Lexile measure: 410L

Guided Reading: M

Genre/Theme: Fables, Folk Tales

Topics: Compassion and Honesty, Manners and Conduct, Friends and Friendship

What an awesome book with beautiful illustrations and great message. “The Three Questions” by Jon Muth is recommended to K-2 by Scholastic but this picture book will be better understood by grades 2-5 and younger gifted students.

It’s a story about a boy who is searching answers to three questions.

When is the best time to do things?

Who is the most important one?

What is the right thing to do?

Through the reading, children can see how answers change

depending on who is asked. “The Three Questions” is an ideal read for both boys and girls.

For “The Three Questions” lesson plan (grades K-3) go to:

The Three Questions Lesson Plan

The Three Questions Lesson Plan

The Invention of Hugo Cabret- by Brian Selznick

Grade Level Equivalent: 5.2        

Lexile Measure: 820L

Guided Reading Level: NR

Age: Age 9-12

Genre: Fiction, Mystery and Suspense, Graphic Novels,

Subject: Cleverness, Creativity and Imagination, Movies, Overcoming Obstacles

“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick, is an amazing story about a twelve year old orphan boy, Hugo Cabret, who after loosing his father tries to revive a broken automaton in hopes to get answers to his many questions. Selznik tells the story of Hugo through both words and illustrations. The illustrations are a work of art on their own and tweens greatly enjoy flipping thorough the pages of drawings which not only enhance the story but increase students reading comprehension. Chances are, 9 year old readers of Hugo Cabret are for the first time experiencing such a complex and engaging story telling, which offers a great teaching opportunity in terms of teaching reading comprehension skills (predicting, inferencing, summarizing, etc.). At the same time, Selznik uses rich vocabulary (Lexile measure 820L) which further offers great instructional moments.

This novel is a true treasure.

For the lesson plan/novel unit go to:  http://tinyurl.com/8xczvvk

Lena M. Ed.


The Invention of Hugo Cabret Novel Guide

The Invention of Hugo Cabret Novel Guide

Navigating Early – by Vanderpool

Navigating Early Novel Guide

Navigating Early Novel Guide

“Navigating Early” by Clare Vanderpool is eay one of top ten middle school books.

Themes: Loss, Coming of age, Grief, Family, Character Growth, friendship;

Summary: This amazing coming of age story is set at the end of the World War II. Two boys, Early and Jack burdened with loss and grief, find their way from being “washed away”. “Navigating Early” is a captivating novel, which more than deserves the 2014 Newbery Award. It can be read out loud in lower grades or a formal novel study in higher grades.

Reading skills: rich vocabulary, inferencing, predicting, connecting of ideas, analysis, character study, transformation, setting, and the list goes on.

This novel is enjoyed by both students and teachers.

Just Amazing!

For the Novel Unit go to: http://tinyurl.com/mvguufq

Mrs. Lena, M. Ed.  

“Return To Sender” by Julia Alvarez


Return to Sender - Julia Alvarez - Novel Guide

Return to Sender – Julia Alvarez – Novel Guide

No one conveys the immigrant experience better than Julia Alvarez. “Return to Sender” is a perfect book for the classroom read this Hispanic Heritage Month.

Return To Sender Julia Alvarez

Genre: Realistic Fiction Theme/Subject: Equality, Fairness, Justice,

Immigration Mexican and Mexican American Friends and Friendship

Subject: Language Arts and Social Studies

Summary: Julia Alvarez did an amazing work in her portrayal of the complexities of illegal immigration and the agricultural dependence on migrant workers in the United States. Brought to the States by her Mexican parents, Mari grows up and comes of age in North Carolina and Vermont. In the mean time, her two sisters were born in the United States, which automatically makes them American citizens. It’s a story of a family torn apart by legal status of citizenship in search of more permanent work, which takes them all the way from North Carolina to Vermont, where the men in the family get hired by a patriotic family in need of farm help. The plot gets much more complicated as the mother gets abducted by “coyotes” (human traffickers) and both families get entangled in the right and wrong of immigration policy and procedure. The novel offers a multidimensional story, but its authentic presentation draws readers’ interest and tells a complicated story with serious plot through dilemmas, conflict, alternatives, and solutions. Students whose families have long since settled, will be able to relate to the migrant and illegal immigration dilemma presently faced in our society.

Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.

“Nobody but nobody in America got here – except the Indians – without somebody giving them a chance.”

For the Novel Unit/Lesson Plan go to: http://tinyurl.com/c9yzd6s

Lena M. Ed.


Lessons on Demand

Lessons On Demand