This post highlights a few of my favourite children’s books for fall that will help you teach about the changing leaves. It includes four different books for fall, an activity or two to go along with each, and a free science resource for teachers.
Teaching Children About Leaves in Fall
What do you love most about fall?
I love the changing leaves! The beauty in the variety of colours together takes my breathe away!
Fall is a wonderful time for exploring outdoors and learning about nature. Fall brings so many changes and these changes are fascinating for children. Collecting leaves on nature walks and learning about leaves can encourage curiosity and thoughtful exploration.
By teaching children about trees and their leaves, we are connecting with the world around us. By picking up, touching, and holding leaves, we are using our senses and connecting with nature. This science exploration is interesting, real, and something all children can connect to.
Children’s Books and Activities About Leaves
I strive to have a bookshelf full of children’s books for each season in our classroom. I use children’s books to help me teach many things related to the fall season. My post, Favorite Books for Fall, is filled with the best thematic, fiction and non-fiction children’s books for fall available. If you are looking for some engaging and informative reads that are suitable for primary aged students, these books are for you!
Book: We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt
The book We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger is a perfect book to read before going on a nature walk with children.
It introduces children to a few different types of leaves that they may find on their hunt for leaves.
Children look and find colorful leaves along their hunt, as well as another surprise…a skunk!
Activities: Leaf Scavenger Hunt & Leaf Exploration
Before going on a nature walk with children, read We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt and a non-fiction book about leaves. Bring in a few leaves ahead of time to teach them what types they are. Teach children the names of a few leaves that they may find. You could also wait until after your nature walk when children have found their own leaves to examine and hold.
Go outside on a “leaf scavenger hunt” as a class. Give students a small seal-able bag that they can put their leaves into. Encourage them to use their senses and find leaves that are different colours, sizes, and shapes. Allow them to collect seeds or small sticks that has fallen from trees.
After the leaf hunt, have students share a few things they found with the class. Students can draw and write what they found on their hunt. Ask students to choose 4 different leaves that they like best. Students can draw or do leaf rubbings and write down how each leaf looks. Printable activities are provided for free later.
Book: Fletcher & The Falling Leaves
If you are looking for the perfect fiction book to read this fall, read Fletcher & The Falling Leaves by Julie Rawlinson. Children will adore this story!
Its beautiful illustrations and thoughtful story pull on your heart strings and make you really appreciate each moment in each season. Fletcher is a sweet fox that discovers the changes that fall brings to his friend, the tree.
He learns that his favourite tree changes each year and with each change brings a new beautiful surprise.
Activity: The Seasons of a Tree
After reading Fletcher and The Falling Leaves with your class, talk about the four seasons and the changes a tree undergoes in a year. Create an anchor chart together with a tree for each season. Have students give suggestions and help add on to each of the trees with things like leaves, buds, flowers, apples, animals, etc. Label each tree with the season.
After the class lesson, students can illustrate and colour the different seasons of a tree. A printable for this activity is provided later.
Book: Leaf Man
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert is a fascinating fiction book that follows the travels of fallen leaves. At the beginning of the book there are pictures and names of leaves for you to learn. The Leaf Man art in this book are colour copies of actual leaves collected by the author.
This book encourages us to use our imaginations and imagine leaves in new ways.
The pages tell a story of travelling leaves changing from one thing to another. It encourages those experiencing the story to find their own Leaf Man.
Activity: Leaf Collage
Children love using their leaves from their leaf hunt to make a collage. After reading Leaf Man, have students play with their leaves and outside treasures. Steer children to create something like they saw in the book or something from their imagination. Maybe a leaf man or women, an animal, insect, or fish.
Once they have created something they want to keep, glue the leaves and other items on paper. To prep for the activity, enlarge the leaf collage template (provided below) and glue it down on heavier cardstock or construction paper. Allow the collages to dry completely before hanging.
Book: Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert is a great book for teaching children about the life cycle of a tree. It captures what it is like for a tree to be transplanted and raised in a new location.
The coloured copies of real leaves in this book help bring it to life as we learn how a maple tree comes to be.
It starts life as a winged seed and ends as an adult tree, though its journey may be long.
Activities: Life Cycle of a Tree
If you have the opportunity, plant a tree with your class and watch it grow through the school year and into the future. This will be such a powerful learning experience for children. Use Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf as a guide.
Discuss the life cycle of a maple tree using the book. Create an anchor chart and talk about and illustrate together the steps it takes for a tree to become full grown. Students can then illustrate the life cycle of a tree independently using one of the templates (provided below).
Suggested Books for Learning about Leaves
I have each of these books on our bookshelf and I highly suggest you seek them out.
FREE Resource for Learning about Leaves
Grab FREE leaf science templates to go along with the books mentioned above and your leaf exploration by clicking the image below. You will receive 7 pages that coordinate with the activities and books provided above to help you with your fall leaf and tree exploration.
All About Fall Non-Fiction & Science Resource
Looking for more science and non-fiction ELA activities for your class this fall? This resource is jam-packed with a ton of materials for an in-depth study on leaves, pumpkins, apples, and more.