The Beauties of Fall

Students begin a year-long exploration of the seasons and how weather, plants, and animals are different depending on the season by reading about the beauties of fall and fall harvests.

Unit Summary

In this unit, students begin a year-long exploration of the seasons and how weather, plants, and animals are different depending on the season by studying the beauties of fall and fall harvests. Students launch the unit by setting up an ongoing weather experiment in order to understand the patterns of fall and how weather changes during fall. While gathering ongoing data about the changing weather in fall, students will learn and observe what happens to leaves in the fall and notice the difference between various types of leaves. In the second half of the unit, students explore the different harvests of fall, particularly apples and pumpkins, and discuss the basic life cycles of both. This unit is a chance for students to stop and think about the changes that are happening in the natural world around them and why the changes happen. It is our hope that by the end of the year, after studying winter and spring in subsequent units, students will have a deeper understanding of the unique features of each season.

In reading, this is students’ first introduction to informational texts and reading to learn information. Students will continue to develop their inquisitive side by being challenged to ask and answer questions about the content and text they are interacting with. This unit exposes students to a subject matter that is present in their day-to-day lives; therefore, they should be challenged to ask questions and make connections between what they are reading and learning and what they are seeing outside. Additionally, while listening to stories, students will learn how to use the text and illustrations to determine the key details of a text and then use those details to retell what the text was mostly about.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

See Text Selection Rationale

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • What makes fall special?
  • What is the weather like in the fall? How does the weather impact different living things?

Writing Focus Areas

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Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Use question words (who, what, where, when, why, and how) to orally ask questions about a topic.
  • Create simple sentences orally.

In this unit, students begin to orally explore different types of sentences. Students learn how to craft questions using different question words and practice asking questions over the course of the unit. Students also learn how to orally construct simple sentences, making sure to include who does something and what they do. Some students may be ready to try writing questions and statements during this unit, but at this point, the main focus is on practicing both orally.

Informational Writing Focus Areas

  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to write informative texts about a topic

In this unit, students begin to learn how to write informative texts to teach back information they learn from a collection of texts. Particularly, students focus on adding details to their drawings in order to explain key facts.

Vocabulary

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Text-based

collect crop fall/autumn forecasting harvest jagged narrow observe record ripe smooth stem vine weather wide

Related Teacher Tools:

Content Knowledge and Connections

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  • Identify autumn/fall and characteristics of local weather patterns during fall.
  • Chilly, windy, frost, cloudy, rain
  • Explain why leaves change colors and describe the different types of leaves they may see.
  • Identify apples and pumpkins as fall harvests.
  • Identify the basic parts of a pumpkin plant (seed, root, stem, branch, leaf).
  • Identify facts about apples and how they grow.

Lesson Map

1

Discussion

    RI.K.1

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

    L.K.1.d

    L.K.2.b

Brainstorm one or two questions about fall by asking and answering questions about details from a discussion.

2

  • Fall Weather pp. 4 – 19

    K-ESS2-1

    K-ESS3-2

    RI.K.1

    RI.K.2

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

Describe what weather is like in the fall.

3

  • Why Do... pp. 1 – 16

    RI.K.1

    RI.K.2

    RI.K.4

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

Explain what happens to a tree’s leaves as the tree gets ready for winter by using words and illustrations to retell key details in a text.

4

  • Why Do... p. 17 — to end

    RI.K.1

    RI.K.2

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

Explain why leaves change color by using words and illustrations to retell key details in a text.

5

Writing

    L.K.1.f

Orally produce complete simple sentences.

6

  • Autumn Leaves

    RI.K.1

    RI.K.2

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

Describe what different leaves look like in the fall. 

7

  • Leaf Man

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

Identify where Leaf Man goes by retelling events in a story.

8

  • Leaves

    RL.K.1

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

Explain why the little bear was confused and what advice you could give the little bear about what was happening with the leaves

9

  • We're Going On ...

    RL.K.1

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

Retell what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

10

Writing

    W.K.2

    W.K.8

    L.K.1

    L.K.6

Write an informational text to teach a reader about what happens to leaves in the fall.

11

  • Fall Harvests — skip pp. 6-11

    RI.K.1

    RI.K.2

    RI.K.3

Explain what a harvest is and what types of food can be harvested in the fall.

12

  • The Pumpkin Book — Stop at page 20

    RI.K.1

    RI.K.2

    RI.K.3

Retell two to three key facts about pumpkins.

13

  • The Pumpkin Book pp. 7 – 16

    RI.K.1

    RI.K.3

Explain how pumpkins grow.

14

  • Apples

    RI.K.1

    RI.K.2

    RI.K.3

Retell two to three key details about apples.

15

Writing

    W.K.2

    W.K.8

    L.K.1

    L.K.6

Write an informational text to teach a reader about pumpkins or apples in the fall.

16

Assessment

Common Core Standards

Earth and Human Activity
  • K-ESS3-2 — Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather. Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on local forms of severe weather.

Earth's Systems
  • K-ESS2-1 — Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time. Clarification Statement: Examples of qualitative observations could include descriptions of the weather (such as sunny, cloudy, rainy, and warm); examples of quantitative observations could include numbers of sunny, windy, and rainy days in a month. Examples of patterns could include that it is usually cooler in the morning than in the afternoon and the number of sunny days versus cloudy days in different months. Assessment Boundary: Assessment of quantitative observations limited to whole numbers and relative measures such as warmer/cooler.

  • K-ESS2-2 — Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs. Clarification Statement: Examples of plants and animals changing their environment could include a squirrel digs in the ground to hide its food and tree roots can break concrete.

Language Standards
  • L.K.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.K.1.d — Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).

  • L.K.1.f — Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.

  • L.K.2.b — Recognize and name end punctuation.

  • L.K.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • RI.K.1 — With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

  • RI.K.2 — With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

  • RI.K.3 — With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

  • RI.K.4 — With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.K.1 — With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

  • RL.K.2 — With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.

  • RL.K.3 — With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.K.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

  • SL.K.2 — Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.

  • SL.K.3 — Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.

  • SL.K.6 — Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

Writing Standards
  • W.K.2 — Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

  • W.K.8 — With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Spiral Standards

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RI.K.10

RI.K.5

RI.K.6

RL.K.1

RL.K.10