Favorite Books for FALL

I am so happy to be blogging with my friends to bring you some of our favorite fall books.  I have some super books to tell you about.  For your convenience, you can find these books on Amazon using my affiliate link by clicking on the cover image.  If you purchase through my link I get a teeny tiny percentage.  Just trying to make things easy for you.  I hope you love these books as much as I do!

The beginning of the school year is a time to get to know each other and begin building our classroom community.  It is the perfect time to teach about diversity and why we value it!  This is the perfect book to help teach this concept:

Ling Sung is the main character in this diverse pre-school classroom with students and teachers from many racial backgrounds.  He doesn't want to go to school because he thinks all the other kids can do special things and he can't.  One day he uses paint brushes to eat a cookie like they are chopsticks.   His teachers and classmates are so impressed!  He teaches them all how to do it.  The story shows us how we all have different strengths AND we can learn new things from each other.  It's a great message about why we value diversity.  I found this book years ago when I was teaching in an inner-city school in San Francisco.  It was one of the only books at that time that actually reflected the kids in my class.  I still read it every year because it touches on a universal theme of feeling "not good enough".  All my young students benefit from hearing this story and realizing that we all have something important to contribute in our classroom community.  I also love this book because I now teach in a school that is not very diverse.  I want my students to see images of kids from all different backgrounds.  It's crucial!  This is still in print and you can grab it by clicking on the picture above.

This is another book that I just adore.  It truly represents a diverse urban community that reflects my childhood memories of San Francisco.  One of the ideas it touches on is wanting things other people have that we don't.  There is a reason this book has won so many awards.

It's a great addition to your books for teaching diversity, but this book also has so much more to offer.  The wise grandmother in this story continues to remind CJ (and us ) to be grateful for what we have, to see beauty in the world around us even when it's not immediately apparent, and connection with people is the real treasure in life.  I LOVE the positive messages in this book.  I also love it because the images and story accurately represent the city life that so many children live.

OK, I am totally OBSESSED with this book.

I saw it a few times on Instagram and when I saw the last page, I knew I had to have it.  It's based on Wonder by the same author, R.J. Pelacio.  It is soooooooo good and it's perfect for young students.  I used this book to help teach about kindness this year.  That is another important beginning of the school year lesson.  Be kind.  It's our number one classroom rule.  It was hard for me to read this book without crying the first few times.  I even read it at Back to School Night for parents because it delivers a powerful message is a beautifully simple way.   It set the tone for the year...

Here are some of the other activities we did to learn about kindness in my classroom:

We talked about how we want to be treated and what the kids in the pictures are doing during the sorting activity.  We also talked about how it feels when we are kind to others.  I made an anchor chart for the kids to give ideas of how they can be kind.  We are going to do this activity later in the year when we need a refresher on kindness. 

After the sorting activity, the kiddos drew a picture of how they can be kind on a writing response paper.  Since it is early in the year for kindergarten, we took dictations for ours students' ideas.  This is my teacher example paper:

Some of my students are having trouble with sharing...  especially the marbles with our marble race building toy.  We are working on it.  If you would like these materials to do kindness activities with your class, you can grab them right here:  Kindness Activities - Social Emontional Learning

I LOVE fall so much!  It's my favorite season and it's officially here!  I hope you can use these books with your little learners this season.

This book is PERFECT for doing a geometry unit in the fall.  I always try to introduce shapes sometime in the fall so we can do review throughout the rest of the year.  It's also nice to take a break from the huge numbers 1-10 unit.  That unit always seems like it takes months to finish and this is a fun way to mix things up.

This book takes you on a trip to the farm at harvest time so you can find lots of shapes along with pumpkins and apples too!  The illustrations are lovely.  I think you and your students will enjoy it too!    

These fall trees are a fun art and math project you can do as an extension activity with the book.  They were made using pattern block die cuts in fall colors.   Students just used oil pastel to draw the trunks and branckes.  Then, they glued on the shapes for leaves.  You can use these trees to learn about shapes and you can also review attributes!  These trees can be graphed by color OR shape.  We graphed these by shape above.  You can grab those pattern block graphs here:  Graph for Pattern Blocks  

Now that fall is here, I am starting to think about Halloween.  Our little friends have already been thinking about it for weeks!  I love this book because it incorporates the fun of Halloween and the pumpkin lifecycle through the story of a young boy who loved his jack-o-lantern.

If you don't have Pumpkin Jack in your collection, make sure you grab it.  You can even read it after Halloween because that's when the story begins.  Here is a fun extension activity you can do with your students to learn about compost and garbage...

We used our kid made classroom jack-o-lanterns for this science experiment.

The day after Halloween, we  filled one up with garbage...

and buried it in the ground.

Then on Earth Day, we dug it up to see what happened.  If you do this with your class make sure you put in some trash that is compostable and some that isn't.  It makes a huge impact to see very little left except for plastic wrappers, baggies, etc.  I got this idea from Catherine Reed, The Brown Bag Teacher  on her Instagram feed.  I tried it with my students and it was a huge success!  

I made these recording sheets for students to make a prediction and then record the results from our experiment..

This activity and recording sheets were just added along with some other things to my Earth Day Activities - Conserving Natural Resources product.  If you already own this, go re-download.  If you don't you should go check it out.  It's a super helpful science resource you can use all year.

I know this seems like the blog post that will never end.  I'm just enjoying writing today and I am such a huge picture book addict, that when it comes to sharing books, I can go on a bit.  This is my last fall favorite for today:

This is an engaging tale told with rich language and beautiful illustrations.  The main character is an older woman living alone who HATES pumpkins.  When one simple action and a lot of ignoring causes a huge pumpkin patch to grow in her yard, she turns this seeming disaster into a festive celebration.  Our little students get to see a character change over time and decide for themselves how she feels about pumpkins at the end.  This is an older book that is still in print for good reason.  I don't see it out in the world much, but I own it and love this addition to my fall collection.  It's a great October read that isn't spooky or completely Halloween based.  

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope you found some books and ideas that will help you have a fabulous fall in your classroom.  Keep on reading for more great books over at Elaine's blog...  

Happy fall!
Happy teaching!