Try this leaf activity! Learning about leaves this fall has never been more fun. Also, grab your FREE pack of leaf science templates!
Teaching Children About Leaves in the Fall
What do you love most about fall?
I love the changing leaves! The beauty in the variety of colors together takes my breath away!
Fall is a beautiful time for exploring the 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.
We are connecting with the world around us by teaching children about trees and their leaves. By picking up, touching, and holding leaves, we use our senses and connect with nature. This science exploration is engaging, real, and something all children can relate to.
This post highlights a few of my favorite 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.
Children’s Books about Leaves and a Leaf Activity
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 engaging and informative reads suitable for primary-aged students, these books are for you!
Books about Leaves: We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt
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, and another surprise…a skunk!
Leaf Activity: 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 picked leaves to examine and hold.
Go outside on a “leaf scavenger hunt” as a class. Give students a small sealable bag that they can put their leaves into. Encourage them to use their senses and find leaves of different colors, sizes, and shapes. Allow them to collect seeds or small sticks that have 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 saw on their hunt. Ask students to choose four different leaves that they like best. Students can draw or do leaf rubbings and write down each leaf’s appearance. Printable activities are provided for free later.
Books about Leaves: Fletcher & The Falling Leaves
Read Fletcher & The Falling Leaves by Julie Rawlinson if you want the perfect fall fiction book. Children will adore this story!
Its beautiful illustrations and thoughtful story pull on your heartstrings and make you appreciate each moment in each season. Fletcher is a sweet fox who discovers the changes that fall brings to his friend, the tree.
He learns that his favorite tree changes yearly, bringing a new, beautiful surprise.
Leaf 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 to each tree with things like leaves, buds, flowers, apples, animals, etc. Label each tree with the season.
After the class lesson, students can illustrate and color the different seasons of a tree. A printable for this activity will be provided later.
Books About Leaves: 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 is color 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 traveling leaves changing from one thing to another. It encourages those experiencing the story to find their own Leaf Man.
Leaf Activity: Leaf Collage
Children love using the 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 they saw in the book or from their imagination. Maybe a leaf, a man or woman, an animal, an insect, or a fish.
Once they have created something they want to keep, glue the leaves and other items on paper. Enlarge the leaf collage template (provided below) to prep for the activity and glue it down on heavier cardstock or construction paper. Allow the collages to dry completely before hanging.
Books About Leaves: Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert is an excellent 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 colored 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.
Leaf Activity: 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 discuss and illustrate together the steps 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 about Leaves
I have these books on our bookshelf and highly suggest you seek them out.
FREE Leaf Activity Resource
Grab FREE leaf science templates to accompany the above books and your leaf exploration. You will receive pages coordinating with the activities and books above to help you with your fall leaf and tree exploration. There are also materials included to create a labeled diagram of a leaf and learn its parts.
Click the image below to sign up for a free copy!
All About Fall Non-Fiction & Science Resource
Looking for more science and non-fiction ELA activities for your class this fall? This fall resource is jam-packed with a ton of materials for an in-depth study on leaves, pumpkins, apples, and more.
More Ideas for Fall