Unit 3: Fall

Study Focus:  Harvest

Study Focus Description:  This study focuses on the season of fall and things that change or happen in the environment during this time of the year.

Student Understandings:   Students will develop an understanding that the weather changes each season of the year and with these weather changes there are changes in the environment.

Guiding Questions:

  1. Can students understand that the weather changes?
  2. Can students understand what a season of the year is?
  3. Can students understand that when the weather changes that the seasons of the year change?
  4. Can students understand that the environment changes?

      5.   Can students understand the different stages of plant growth?

Guiding Vocabulary:  fall, autumn, spring, summer, seasons, weather, leaves, apples, pumpkins, seed, vine, tree, seed, sprout, plant, squirrels, acorns, harvest

Grade-level Expectations


GLE Text and Benchmarks


Demonstrate understanding of phonological awareness by  manipulating endings of words and nonsense words to make rhyming sounds (PK-LL-L3) (ELA-1-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of phonological awareness by  manipulating syllables in spoken words (segment/blend) (PK-LL-L3) (ELA-1-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of phonological awareness by repeating each word in a simple sentence. (PK-LL-L3) (ELA-1-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of alphabetic principle by identifying own first name in print  (PK-LL-L3) (ELA-1-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of alphabetic principle by identifying at least eight uppercase or lowercase letters, focusing on those in the student’s name (PK-LL-L3) (ELA-1-E1)


Orally respond to questions using new vocabulary introduced in conversations, activities, stories, or books (PK-LL-L4) (ELA-1-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of book and print concepts by recognizing that a book has a cover and identifying the cover and title of a book.  (PK-LL-R3) (ELA-1-E2)


Demonstrate understanding of book and print concepts by holding a book right side up.  (PK-LL-R3) (ELA-1-E2)


Demonstrate understanding of book and print concepts by differentiating between an illustration and printed text.  (PK-LL-R3) (ELA-1-E2)


Demonstrate understanding of book and print concepts by recognizing that print is read left-to-right and top-to-bottom.  (PK-LL-R3) (ELA-1-E2)


Relate pictures to characters (PK-LL-R4) (ELA-1-E4)





Role-play using different voices to represent characters in familiar stories (PK-LL-S1) (ELA-1-E4)


Listen to a story and state orally what the story is about (PK-LL-R1) (PK-LL-R2) (PK-LL-L1) (ELA-1-E5)


Answer simple questions about a story read aloud (PK-LL-S3) (PK-LL-R4) (ELA-1-E5)


 Share related life experiences after stories are read aloud (PK-LL-L1) (PK-LL-S1) (ELA-1-E6)


Orally express thoughts about characters or events in a story (PK-LL-S1) (PK-LL-S2) (PKS-LL-R2) (ELA-1-E6)


Demonstrate understanding of texts read aloud using a variety of strategies by sequencing two or three pictures to illustrate events in a story. (PK- LL-R2) (ELA-7-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of texts read aloud using a variety of strategies by participating in a group discussion to predict what a book will be about. (PK- LL-R2) (ELA-7-E1)


Demonstrate understanding of texts read aloud using a variety of strategies by determining whether the prediction was accurate. (PK- LL-R2) (ELA-7-E1)


Use simple reasoning skills by identifying reality and fantasy in texts read aloud.  (PF-LL-R1) (PK-LL-R2) (PK-LL-S3) (ELA-7-E4)


Use simple reasoning skills by asking simple questions about a story read aloud (e.g., who, where).  (PF-LL-R1) (PK-LL-R2) (PK-LL-S3) (ELA-7-E4)


 Use scribble writing, letter-like forms, dictation, or drawing to represent a word or concept (PK-LL-W1) (PK-LL-W2) (PK-LL-W3) (ELA-2-E1)


Orally generate words, ideas, and lists for group writing activities (PK-LL-W3) (ELA-2-E3)


Write informal notes, lists, and letters using scribble writing and/or pictures (PK-LL-W2) (PK-LL-W3) (PK-LL-W4) (ELA-2-E4)


Participate in group-shared writing activities that include rhyming and descriptive words (PK-LL-W3) (PK-LL-W4) (PK-LL-L3) (ELA-2-E5)


Scribble write or draw a picture of a life experience or response to a text read aloud (PK-LL-W2) (PK-LL-W4) (ELA-2-E6)


Demonstrate consistent top-to-bottom formation for letters or letter-like forms (PK-LL-W2) (ELA-3-E1)


Use words, phrases, and/or sentences to express feelings, ideas, needs, and wants (PK-LL-S1) (PK-LL-S2) (ELA-4-E1)


Carry on a conversation about a topic, thought, or idea from the classroom, home, or community (PK-LL-S1) (PK-LL-S3) (ELA-4-E1)


Repeat an instruction given orally (PK-LL-S1) (ELA-4-E2)


Follow one- and two-step verbal and nonverbal directions (PK-LL-L2) (ELA-4-E2)


Retell part of a favorite story (PK-LL-R2) (ELA-4-E3)


Speak about life experiences or topics of interest (PK-LL-S3) (ELA-4-E4)


Actively participate in role-playing, creative dramatics, finger plays, nursery rhymes and choral speaking (PK-LL-R1) (PK-LL-S2) (PK-LL-L3) (PK-LL-L4) (ELA-4-E5)




























Listen and orally respond to questions about media, including music and videos (PK-LL-L5) (ELA-4-E6)


Recognize and follow agreed-upon rules for discussing, such as raising one's hand, waiting one's turn, and speaking one at a time (PK-LL-S1) (PK-SE-C1) (ELA-4-E7)


Identify a computer mouse and its purpose (i.e., to navigate the screen) (PK-LL-L5) (ELA-5-E1)


Identify and use information that is formatted in a chart or graph, such as a daily schedule (PK-LL-S1) (ELA-5-E6)


Count by ones to 10 (PK-CM-N3) (N-1-E) (N-3-E)


Count a set of 5 or fewer objects by establishing a 1-to-1 correspondence between number names and objects (PK-CM-N2) (N-1-E)


Identify an object’s position as first or last (PK- -G3) (N-1-E)


Identify numerals 1 to 5 (PK-CM-N5) (N-1-E) (N-3-E)


Compare sets of objects using the words same/different and more/less/fewer (PK-CM-N1) CM (N-3-E) (N-7-E)


Use comparative vocabulary in measurement settings (e.g., long/longer, short/shorter, more/less, hotter/colder, heavier/lighter, bigger/smaller) (PK-CM-M3) (M-1-E) (M-2-E) (M-3-E)


Use words such as day, week, month, schedule, morning, noon, night (PK-CM-M1) (M-2-E)


Identify rectangles, squares, circles, and triangles using concrete models (G-2-E)


Sort concrete objects by an attribute (e.g., shape, size, color) (PK-CM-D1) (G-2-E) (D-1-E)


Use words that indicate direction and position of an object (e.g., up, down, over, under, above, below, beside, in, out, behind) (PK-CM-G3) (G-3-E)


Recognize and manipulate an object’s position in space (e.g., blocks, assembling puzzles) (PK-CM-G3) (G-3-E) (G-4-E)


Arrange objects or pictures of objects to make an object or picture graph (PK-CM-D2) (D-4-E)


Recognize and copy repeated patterns (e.g., concrete objects, songs, rhymes, and body movements) (PK-CM-P1) (PK-CM-P2) (P-1-E) (P-3-E)


Ask questions about objects and events in the environment (e.g., plants, rocks, storms) (PK-CS-I1) (SI-E-A1)


Pose questions that can be answered by using students’ own observations and scientific knowledge (PK-CS-I1) (SI-E-A1)


Use the five senses to describe observations (PK-CS-P3) (SI-E-A3)


Select and use developmentally appropriate equipment and tools and units of measurement to observe and collect data (PK-CS-I4) (SI-E-A4)


Express data in a variety of ways by constructing illustrations, graphs, charts, tables, concept maps, and oral and written explanations as appropriate (PK-CS-I5) (SI-E-A5) (SI-E-B4)


Use a variety of appropriate formats to describe procedures and to express ideas about demonstrations or experiments (e.g., drawings, journals, reports, presentations, exhibitions, portfolios) (PK-CS-I5) (SI-E-A6)


Identify and use appropriate safety procedures and equipment when conducting investigations (e.g., gloves, goggles, hair ties) (PK-CS-I4) (SI-E-A7)



Recognize that a variety of tools can be used to examine objects at different degrees of magnification (e.g., hand lens, microscope) (PK-CS-I4) (SI-E-B3)


Sort objects using one characteristic (PK-CS-P2) (PS-E-A1)


Determine whether objects float or sink through investigations (PK-CS-P1) (PS-E-A1)


Describe properties of materials by using observations made with the aid of equipment such as magnets, magnifying glasses, pan balances, and mirrors (PK-CS-P4) (PS-E-A2)


Determine whether one object weighs more or less than another by using a pan balance (PK-CS-I4) (PS-E-A2)


Compare the properties of different solids and liquids through observation (PK-CS-P1) (PS-E-A4)


Identify components of simple mixtures (e.g., salt/water, rice/beans, iron filings/sand) (PK-CS-P1) (PS-E-A5)


Demonstrate motion by using students’ own bodies (PK-CS-P3) (PS-E-B3)


Explore the motion of objects by using balls, toy cars, or spinning tops (PK-CS-I2) (PS-E-B3)


Identify different sounds as soft or loud (PK-CS-P3) (PS-E-C1)


Identify selected substances as hot or cold (PK-CS-P2) (PS-E-C3)


Identify parts of the body and how they move (PK-CS-L1) (LS-E-A3)


Give examples of different kinds of plants and different kinds of animals (PK-CS-L1) (LS-E-A4)


Distinguish food items from nonfood items (PK-CS-L1) (LS-E-A6)


Learn about animals and plants through nonfiction literature (PK-CS-L1) (LS-E-B1)


Observe and care for pets and plants (PK-CS-L1) (LS-E-B1)


Describe plants and animals in the schoolyard or home environments (PK-CS-L1) (LS-E-C1)


Explore and describe various properties of rocks, minerals, and soils (PK-CS-L2) (ESS-E-A1)


Describe the weather and its daily changes (PK-CS-ES2) (ESS-E-A4)


Describe different types of weather students have experienced and give examples of how daily activities and appropriate attire are affected by weather conditions (PK-CS-ES2) (ESS-E-A4)


Identify representations of roads, bodies of water, and buildings in play activities  (PK-CSS-G1) (G-1A-E1)


Demonstrate an awareness of the world around them (e.g., provide simple information about a trip the student has taken or where the student lives)  (PK-CSS-G3) (G-1A-E2)


Discuss ways people can help each other (e.g., sharing, paying attention, taking turns)  (PK-SE-C1) (C-1D-E4)


Participate in patriotic activities  (PK-CSS-C2) (C-1D-E4)


Demonstrate an awareness of the uses of money in play activities  (PK-CSS-E1) (E-1A-E3)


Demonstrate an awareness of time by using and responding to such words as yesterday, today, and tomorrow  (PK-CSS-H1) (H-1A-E1)



Study Focus


What is Fall?




Eating Apples

Whole Group Activities



ELA 8, 9, 10, 12b, 12c, 16

Leaf Size Sorting  ELA 24, 29; M 5, 9

Apples and Pumpkins

ELA 5a, 5b, 5c, 24, 27, 29; M 3, 13; SCI 3

Fall Nature Hunt

ELA 22; SCI 1, 2, 3, 20, 24, 26

Apple Tree Activity

M 2, 4

Morning Circle Time

ELA 1d, 3a, 3b, 4, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31;

M 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13;

SCI 26, 27; SS 4, 5, 7

Have you ever raked leaves?

Do you prefer red or yellow leaves?

Do you prefer apples or pumpkins?

Have you ever seen a squirrel at school?

Do apples grow on trees?


Suggested alternative story titles are listed in the bibliography.

ELA 1a,1b, 1d, 4, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 6, 7, 8,  9, 10, 11, 12b, 12c, 14c, 25,  29

Clifford’s First Autumn by Norman Bridwell

It’s Pumpkin Time

by Zoe Hall

Picking Apples and Pumpkins

by Amy and Richard Hutchings

Gray Squirrel at Pacific Avenue

by Gerri Harrington

Apples, Apples, Apples

by Nancy Wallace

Small Group Activities

Leaf Exploration

M 1, 9, 12; SCI 9

Pumpkin Story Chain

ELA 5a, 5b, 8, 9, 12a, 12b, 12c, 23, 24; SCI 20, 24

Counting Apple Seeds

ELA 29; M 2, 4

Fall Learning Log

ELA 3a, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22

Tasting Party

ELA 15, 16, 20, 31; M 1, 5, 12; SCI 2, 3

Music and Movement

Way Down Yonder in the Apple Orchard ELA 1d, 24, 27, 29


Here We Go ‘Round the Apple Tree

ELA 1d, 24, 27, 29

I Like Pumpkins

ELA 1d, 24, 27, 29

Leaf Dancing

ELA 24, 27, 29; SCI 15

Did You Ever See a Pumpkin?

ELA 1d, 24, 27, 29

Field Experiences/

Guest Speakers

Visit a garden; visit a pumpkin patch; nature field trip



 Study Focus Activities for Learning Centers that can be incorporated into your existing center activities.  Remember any center activity that you can do indoors, could be done outdoors!


ELA 3, 15, 17, 20, 24


Can you find the letter?

Letter symbols

Sand Letters

Letter rubbings

Playdough Letters

Letter jars

Dot Letters

Letter puzzles


Gel Board

Letter game


M 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13


Number Relations

Cut out 10 pumpkin shapes and write numbers 1 to 10 and corresponding number words on each pumpkin.  Have students use real pumpkin seeds to count out on each pumpkin.



Have students estimate how big around a pumpkin is by cutting a length of string they think will go around it. Have them test their estimate by using the string to measure the pumpkin and see how close they are to the actual measurement.

Graph the lengths of string.


Cut out different geometric shapes from construction paper.  Have students stuff a small brown paper lunch bag with newspaper. Tie green curling ribbon around bag about one inch from the top.  Have students paint the bag orange and glue the shapes on to make jack-o-lantern face.

Data Collection

BLM Graph:

 After tasting the apples, which one did you like the best?


Have students use small apples and miniature pumpkins to copy, extend or create simple patterns.


SCI 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25

ELA 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 17, 21, 22, 24, 26, 31

M 6, 9, 11,

SS 4

learning logs and writing tools, nonfiction books relating to current study,

pumpkin vines, stems to weigh/measure with a pan balance, real apples for comparisons, a variety of nuts in a shell, pine cones, pine straw, color water mixing, look at leaves with flashlight,

non-fiction books about fall and harvest, writing tools

Gross Motor

ELA 23, 24

M 11, 13

SCI 15, 16

SS 4

plastic rakes, plastic hoes, garden gloves, a wagon, bale of hay, and a wheelbarrow, pumpkin patch with fences: small, medium, large pumpkins, signs for pumpkin patch



ELA 15, 17, 20, 23, 24

M 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11

SCI 3, 9,16,

SS 1, 2, 4

writing tools, paper, and tape for making student made signs and labels

plastic trees and leaves, pumpkins and apples, farm set and farmer



Table Games

ELA 23, 24

M 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13


SS 4

Matching game - Using cutouts, diecuts, clipart, or boardmaker write numerals 1-10 for matching game.

Apple game- Tree cards with numerals 1-10 on them and red pom-poms to be used as apples. Place pom-poms on tree to match numeral on the card.

Pumpkin vine game- Use a long piece of string or raffia to simulate a vine. Cut out pumpkins with the numerals 1-10 on them. Have the students place the pumpkins in numerical order on the pumpkin vine.


ELA 30

A variety of selected games/activities based on available technology and student needs




ELA 23, 24

M 5, 6, 8, 9, 10

SCI 3, 13, 14

SS 4

apple prints, leaf printing, leaf sunlight prints: Place a real or fabric leaf on a piece of construction paper –not fadeless—outside in the sun. Return later in the day to see the print.

fingerpaint pumpkin shapes using orange paint, cookie cutter pumpkin prints



ELA 22, 23, 24

M 5, 6, 10

SCI 2, 3, 10, 13, 14

SS 1, 4


plastic pumpkins and apples, rake, hoe



plastic apples for floating; plastic pumpkins, plastic or fabric leaves


ELA 27, 28

M 1,  2,  3,  4, 10, 11, 13

SCI 15, 17, 19

SS 4

CD player and CDs, previously introduced musical instruments

Orange scarves, classical music,

Some featured songs:

The Four Seasons by Vivaldi

Apples and Bananas; Oats and Beans and Barley Grow -Raffi.

Follow Me to the Apple Tree, We Start the Season of Fall, Rockin’ into October, Four Seasons -Jack Hartman

Dramatic Play

ELA 7, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27

M 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11

SCI 3, 15, 17, 18, 21, 26, 27

SS 2, 4, 6, 7

In addition to the regular housekeeping center, add one or more of the following:

Farm Prop Box: farmer hat, bandanas, overalls, flannel shirt, jacket, sweater, sweat pants, football jersey, cheerleader outfit, pom poms, plastic fruits and vegetables



Books and Listening Center

ELA 1a, 1d, 3a, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12a, 14a, 14c, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29

SS 2, 4

a variety of books and recordings related to the study focus; puppets, flannel board and/or magnetic board figures; class made books

gardening magazines and catalogs, Farmer’s Almanac, homemade scarecrow, stuffed or cloth pumpkins


ELA 3a, 3b, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20

M 11, 13

SS 4

blank books; paper in a variety of colors and sizes; student name cards; stencils; variety of writing tools such as: pencils, colored pencils, crayons, markers

sord cards - apple, pumpkin, harvest, Fall, Autumn

stamps and stencils of the above



Whole Group Activities


Whole Group Activity 1:  Fall Harvest Brainstorm (GLEs: ELA 8, 9, 10, 12b, 12c, 16)


Materials List: When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass (book), chart paper, marker


Introduce Fall/Harvest as a season of the year when there is a weather change.  Spring and summer plantings mature and are ready to harvest.  Follow a modified DR-TA strategy (view literacy strategy descriptions): Show the book cover and discuss the title of the text. Ask students to predict what the story might be about. Read When Autumn Comes, pausing where appropriate for comments and questions and to check students’ predictions. After the read aloud, ask students if their predictions were correct. Discuss the activities and events that are addressed in the book, e.g., autumn, weather changes.


Accommodations: None needed



Whole Group Activity 2:  Leaf Size Sorting (GLEs: ELA 24, 29; M 5, 9)


Materials List:  collage or paper leaves in small, medium, large sizes; construction paper cut to size and labeled as ‘small’, ‘medium’, and ‘large’,


Tell students that the day’s lesson will be about the size of different leaves.  Lead a discussion on the various sizes of leaves, types of leaves, and their origins.  Give each student a handful of leaves of various sizes.  Have each student sort his/her collection according to size.  Have each student place his/her leaves underneath the appropriate construction paper template, e.g., small, medium, large.  Ask students to identify which category has “more leaves”, “less leaves”, or “fewer leaves”.


Accommodations:  Assist students who have difficulty with the sorting and placement of leaves. Consider allowing  half of the students to participate while the other half observes and then switch groups.



Whole Group Activity 3:  Apples and Pumpkins (GLEs: ELA 5a, 5b, 5c, 24, 27, 29; M 3, 13; SCI 3)


Materials List: Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell (book), a variety of real apples and pumpkins, apple chart, pumpkin chart, marker, paper apples, paper pumpkins


Display a variety of real apples and pumpkins. Encourage students to touch, explore, and discuss them. Tell students, “Today, we are going to learn about apples and pumpkins and where they grow.”  Hold up the book and read the title on the cover. Point to the words in the title, explaining that the text is the part that is read, while the illustrations are the pictures of the story. Read Apples and Pumpkins aloud.  Give each student a paper apple or paper pumpkin.  Have students holding a paper apple form one group and those holding a paper pumpkin form another group.  Explain what an

“A/B” pattern is to the students.  Tell students, “We are going to form an “A/B” pattern with our apples and pumpkins.  When I call your name, stand where I place you in our line.  I will ask an ‘apple’ to stand next to a ‘pumpkin’, the another ‘apple’ next to that ‘pumpkin’, and so on until all of you are in a straight line.  When we are finished, we will have an “A/B” pattern . . . in other words, an apple next to a pumpkin, apple-pumpkin, apple-pumpkin, and so on.  When we do that, what will we have?”  The students should respond, “An A/B pattern!”  Ask, “Who is first in the pattern?  And, who is last in the pattern?”  They should respond, “Apple is first, pumpkin is last”.  Finally, ask students to identify the name of the student who is holding the first apple and the name of the student holding the last pumpkin.


Accommodations:  Assist students who have difficulty forming groups; standing in line; not being ‘first’ or ‘last’; understanding the concept of “A/B” pattern; identifying ‘first’ and ‘last’ in the pattern.



Whole Group Activity 4:  Fall Nature Hunt (GLEs: ELA 22; SCI 1, 2, 3, 20, 24, 26)


Materials List:  nature collection bags labeled with students’ names (one per student)


Tell students, “Today, we are going outside to look at nature so we can learn about the seasonal change to Fall.”  Once outside, circulate with and encourage students to walk around and observe nature’s way of changing seasons, e.g., leaves, bugs, plants, the sky and clouds, weather changes.  Tell students to put nature items such as the examples listed in their collection bags so they can be shared with the class later during small group. 


Accommodations:  Assist students in what to look for; encourage students to share what they find with others as they explore the area.



Whole Group Activity 5:  Apple Tree Activity (GLEs: M 2, 4)


Materials List: number cards numbered 1-5


While saying the following rhyme, show a specific number card, have students say the number in the appropriate place in the rhyme.  Alternate the rhymes and change the numbers each time by showing different number cards, until all numbered cards have been shown.  Repeat as needed.  Place the number cards in the music center for the students continued use.


Way up high in the apple tree,

_______ little apples smiled down at me.

I shook that tree as hard as I could,

And down fell those apples.

Ummm, they were good.


Way down low on the pumpkin vine,

_______ little pumpkins smiled up at me.

I pulled that vine as hard as I could,

And off plopped those pumpkins.

Ummm, they were good.


Accommodations:  None needed


Music and Movement Activities


Activity 1: Way Down Yonder in the Apple Orchard (GLEs: ELA 1d, 24, 27, 29)


Materials List: none


Tell students to role play the actions directed by the song.

(tune: “Paw-paw Patch”)

Pick up an apple, put it in the basket,

Pick up an apple, put it in the basket,

Pick up an apple, put it in the basket,

Way down yonder in the apple orchard.


Accommodations:  None needed



Activity 2: Here We Go ‘Round the Apple Tree (GLEs: ELA 1d, 24, 27, 29)


Materials List:  none


Instruct students to hold hands and walk in a clockwise direction as they sing the song.  One student will be selected to begin the song as he or she stands in the middle of the circle.  He or she will act out the song’s instructions.  When the song has been completed, the student in the middle of the circle will choose another student to lead the activity.  Repeat the process until all students have had a chance to lead.


(tune: “Mulberry Bush”)

Here we go ‘round the apple tree, the apple tree, the apple tree.

Here we go ‘round the apple tree, __________ will you go and pick one for me?


Accommodations:  Assist students who have difficulty walking in the correct direction in an orderly fashion or in choosing the next student to lead.



Activity 3: I Like Pumpkins (GLEs: ELA 1d, 24, 27, 29)


Materials List:  none


Lead students in singing the song.  Add motions to the activity as indicated by the verses of the song, e.g., making a circle with arms outstretched in front simulating the dimensions of a pumpkin (“I like pumpkins”), hand held palms up in front (“cooked in a pie” or “in pumpkin bread”), using hands and arm motion to cool one’s face (“hot and salty”).


(tune: “Fre're Jacques)

I like pumpkins, I like pumpkins,

In a pie, in a pie,

Big and orange pumpkins, big and orange pumpkins,

Cooked in a pie, cooked in a pie.


I like pumpkins, I like pumpkins,

In pumpkin bread, in pumpkin bread,

Big and orange pumpkins, big and orange pumpkins,

In pumpkin bread, in pumpkin bread.


I like pumpkin seeds, I like pumpkin seeds,

Hot and salty, hot and salty,

From big and orange pumpkins, from big and orange pumpkins,

Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seeds.


Accommodations:  None needed



Activity 4:  Leaf Dancing (GLEs: ELA 24, 27, 29; SCI 15)


Materials List:  scarves or tissue paper leaves, boom box/CD player, CD of classical music (preferably Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons)


Distribute one scarf or one tissue paper leaf to each student.  Play a piece of classical music from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons while students dance and create movement patterns of their choosing in time with the music, using the scarves/leaves as a prop.


Accommodations:  Encourage students who are shy and do not feel comfortable ‘dancing’ in front of others; assist students who get carried away with their movements and present safety or classroom management concerns.



Activity 5: Did You Ever See a Pumpkin? (GLEs: ELA 1d, 24, 27, 29)


Materials List: cut-outs of pumpkins as depicted in the song (e.g., big, little, bumpy, flat, tall, short, yellow, orange), magnetic tape (to be placed on the back of the cut-outs), magnetic board


Distribute the pumpkin cut-outs to the students.  When the description matching the pumpkin cut-out is mentioned in the song, the student holding that pumpkin will place his/her magnetized cut-out on the magnetic board.  Repeat the process until all students have had an opportunity to put a pumpkin on the board. Place the magnetic cut-outs in the Music Center for continued use.


(tune: “Did You Ever See a Lassie?”)

Did you ever see a pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin?

Did you ever see a pumpkin way down in the patch?

There are big ones and little ones.

There are bumpy ones and flat ones.

Did you ever see a pumpkin way down in the patch?


Did you ever see a pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin?

Did you ever see a pumpkin way down in the patch?

There are tall ones and short ones.

There are yellow ones and orange ones.

Did you ever see a pumpkin way down in the patch?


Accommodations:  Assist students who have difficulty recognizing the description of their cut-out pumpkin.



Small Group Activities



Small Group Activity 1:  Leaf Exploration (GLEs: M 1, 9, 12; SCI 9)


Materials List:  fabric or real leaves, chart paper or poster board, marker


Display a variety of fabric or real leaves.  Encourage students to explore the leaves and discuss their colors and shapes. Have students sort the leaves into piles by specified attributes, e.g., color and shape. When completed, have students count the leaves. Assist students in making a tally chart to show how many leaves are in each category. 


Accommodations: Assist students that need help with counting.



Small Group Activity 2:  Pumpkin Story Chain (GLEs: ELA 5a, 5b, 8, 9, 12a, 12b, 12c, 23, 24; SCI 20, 24)


Materials List: Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington (book), BLM pictures of pumpkin cycle/growth sequence for each child


Prior to the lesson, prepare the pictures of pumpkin cycle/growth sequence


Show the book Pumpkin, Pumpkin, by Jeanne Titherington. Discuss the cover and the title. Have the students predict what the story will be about. Read the book. Discuss the story and the sequence of the pumpkin cycle. Using the BLM pumpkin growth sequence pictures, have students put the pictures of the growth cycle of the pumpkin in sequential order to create a story chain (view literacy strategy descriptions). A story chain is an activity where students sequence the events of a book. In this story chain, the students use pictures of the pumpkin growth cycle which they place in order from beginning to end and orally describe what is happening in each stage of the growth cycle. Ask students if their predictions about the story were correct.


Accommodations: Assist students who have difficulty sequencing the pumpkin lifecycle. Consider giving every child a sequencing pictures.




Small Group Activity 3:  Counting Apple Seeds (GLEs: ELA 29; M 2, 4)


Materials List: apple die-cuts, black pom-pom balls, number cards numbered 1-5


Give each student an apple cut-out and a handful of black pom-poms balls.  Tell students, “The pom-poms will be used as the “apple seeds in our counting activity. We are going to play a game to find out how many seeds are in your apple.” Display the cards 1-5 in random order, one at a time, and state each number as the card is shown.  Have students count out pom-poms to correspond with the displayed number card and place them on their apples.


Accommodations: Assist students that have trouble counting pom-poms.



Small Group Activity 4:  Fall Learning Log (GLEs: ELA 3a, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22)


Materials List:  white paper (one per student), crayons, markers


Review the Fall Nature Hunt activity (refer to Whole Group Activity 4) with students.  Give each student a piece of white paper to create a learning log (view literacy strategy descriptions).  Have students draw/write about something they did on the Nature Hunt. (whole group activity 4). Ask each student to describe his/her paper and record his/her words on the learning log page.  Collect and bind the learning log pages together to create a class-made book. Place in the Book or Science Center.


Accommodations: Assist students that have difficulty remembering their previous experience, drawing depictions of their experience, or writing their name.



Small Group Activity 5:  Tasting Party (GLEs: ELA 15, 16, 20, 31; M 1, 5, 12; SCI 2, 3)


Materials List: apples of each kind available (ex.: golden, delicious, gala, Granny Smith, etc.), knife, cutting board, paper plates, wet wipes, word grid


Display the various types of apples and identify each by name.  Encourage students to explore the apples using their five senses.  Wash the apples prior to cutting them into sections.  Invite students to taste the different apples. Encourage students to think about how the apple tastes: crunchy, sweet, tart, soft. Invite students to discuss how the apples taste and the textures of the apples. Introduce students to the word grid (view literacy strategy descriptions). Explain to students that we will go through the word grid, writing “yes” or “no” according to characteristics of the apples. Upon completion of the word grid, discuss the characteristics of each apple type.


















Granny Smith





















Accommodations:   Assist students who have difficulty identifying the types of apples, identifying the one they like the best, understanding the concepts of crunchy, soft, sweet, and tart, or waiting for their turn.




Sample Assessments


General Guidelines


Documentation of student understanding will be recorded by the teacher through observation, notes, and anecdotal records as well as student-generated products.  These items will be dated and kept in the form of portfolio assessment.


General Assessments

·         Photos, audio tapes, or videotapes to record student behaviors

·         Student products

·         Checklists for recording student behaviors, understanding and skills

·         Teacher observations

·         Anecdotal records



Activity-Specific Assessments 


·         Small Group Activity 4: Document students’ work samples of the Fall Learning Log page.


·         Small Group Activity 5: Document students’ name writing and apple choice during the small group activity.





Children’s Books


Aylesworth, Jim.  One Crow: A Counting Rhyme, ISBN: 0-673-81697-4

Bridwell, Norman.  Clifford’s First Autumn.0-592-34130-8

Bridwell, Norman.  The Big Leaf Pile. ISBN 0-439-21357-6

Cowley, Joy. The Pumpkin, ISBN: 1-55911-187-9

Craig, Janet.  Max and Maggie in Autumn, ISBN 10: 0816733481

Cutting, Jillian. Fall, ISBN: 0-7802-6404-5

Ehlert, Lois.  Nuts to You!, ISBN: 0-440-83093-1

Faulkner, Megan and Adam Krawesky. A Day at the Pumpkin Patch, ISBN 13: 978-0-439-90010-2

Faulkner, Megan and Adam Krawesky. A Day at the Apple Orchard, ISBN: 0-439-95713-3

Fowler, Allan. It’s a Fruit, It’s a Vegetable, It’s a Pumpkin. ISBN: 0-5164609-39-0

Franco, Betsy.  Fresh Fall Leaves, ISBN: 0-590-27363-9

Gaines, Isabel.  Pooh’s Pumpkin, ISBN: 0-7868-4304-7

Gibbons, Gail. The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree, ISBN: 0-590-62155-6

Greydanus, Rose. Changing Seasons, ISBN: 0-8167-1478-9

Hall, Zoe.  It’s Pumpkin Time, ISBN: 0-590-47840-0

Hall, Zoe.  The Apple Pie Tree. ISBN 0-590-62383-4

Harrington, Gerri.  Gray Squirrel at Pacific Avenue, ISBN: 1-56899-115-0

Hutchings, Amy and Richard.  Picking Apples and Pumpkins, ISBN: 0-590-484567

Johnson, Hannah. From Seed to Pumpkin, ISBN: 0-688-41644-6

Keeler, Renee. Our Pumpkin. ISBN 1-57471-002-8

Maass, Robert.  When Autumn Comes, ISBN: 0-590-96825-4

Marzollo, Jean. I Am a Seed, ISBN: 0-590-26586-5

McNamara, Margaret. The Pumpkin Patch. ISBN: 0-439-57751-9

Metzger, Steve.  The Biggest Leaf Pile, ISBN 10: 0439556570

Metzger, Steve.  We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt, ISBN: 0-439-55657-0

Moffatt, Judith. The Pumpkin Man, ISBN: 0-590-62865-3

Packard, Mary.  Fall Leaves, ISBN: 0-439-09911-0

Robbins, Ken. Pumpkins, ISBN 10: 0-312-37141-1

Robbins, Ken. Autumn Leaves, ISBN: 0-590-29879-8

Robbins, Ken. Seeds. ISBN: 0-689-85041-7

Rockwell, Anne.  Apples and Pumpkins, ISBN: 0-590-45191-X

Senisi, Ellen. Fall Changes, ISBN 0-439-24094-8

Sherrow, Victoria. Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane, ISBN: 0-590-84498-9

Slawson, Michele.  Apple Picking Time, ISBN: 0-517-88575-1

Smith, Jerry.  I Like Pumpkins, ISBN: 0-439-52110-6

Thompson, Gare. Changing Colors, ISBN: 0-8172-8226-2

Titherington, Jeanne.  Pumpkin Pumpkin, ISBN: 0-590-42871-3

Wallace, Nancy.  Apples, Apples, Apples, ISBN: 0-439-27461-3

Wallace, Nancy.  Leaves, Leaves, Leaves, ISBN 10: 0761453792

Walsh, Rita. Fall Colors, ISBN: 0-8167-4281-2

Wildsmith, Brian.  Squirrels, ISBN: 0-590-20440-8 





Hartman, Jack. Rhythms and Rhymes.

Raffi. Baby Beluga,

Raffi. One Light, One Sun.

Vivaldi, Antonio. The Four Seasons.