Fall Language & Literacy Books

Fall is in full swing here in Atlanta, Georgia. The leaves have been changing for weeks now. The weather was actually in the 50s-60s this weekend. Many are enjoying their favorite flavored cappuccino or latte. The grocery stores and farmers’ markets are filled with fall produce. It’s an ideal time to use fall-themed books in speech/language therapy sessions. I have great recommendations that you can use meaningfully to build communication, language, and literacy skills.

Fall Weather Cooler Temperatures by Martha E.H. Rustad

This book introduces young children to the fall season, changing weather, and how to record observations on a weather chart or from a rain gauge. They will learn that autumn is another word for fall. Children will enjoy the vibrant illustrations in this book. The characters are all decked out in their fall jackets and scarves. I like that this book teaches children that the season begins on September 22 or 23 and is known as the fall equinox.  On this special day, both day and night are equal lengths. This means that there are 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. They will learn that each morning, the sun rises at a later time and the sun sets at an earlier time. Due to less daylight in some areas, this often brings cooler temperatures.  In some areas, the fall season brings rainy or windy weather. In the book, children record and compare/contrast the daily temperatures. They even learn how to use a rain gauge outside to measure the amount of rain.

Speech/Language Targets:

Tier 2/Tier 3 Vocabulary- blows, yard, season, celebrates, equinox, equal, shorter, longer, rises, sets, planet, cooler, warmer, meterologists, scientists, thermometer, predict, weather, rain gauge (e.g. Students practice describing vocabulary meanings from sentence context.)

Language Memory- recall 3-5 facts

WH questions- answer literal who, what, where, when, and why questions

Blossom to Apple by Sarah Ridley

This is an excellent non-fiction book for elementary school-aged children. They will learn that apples grow in orchards and that there are numerous varieties. Children will learn how apple trees change in every season. In the spring, tiny buds appear and grow into beautiful blossoms or flowers. Bees help to pollinate the trees allowing them to make fruit and seeds. By summer, the flower petals fall to the ground and green leaves and apples emerge. By late summer and autumn, the apples become ripe and are ready to be harvested. In late fall and winter, the apple orchards are bare with no leaves and it is time for the farmers to prune and trim the trees. Did you know that apple trees take four to five years to produce their first harvest?

Speech/Language Targets:

Tier 2/Tier 3 vocabulary-  nectar, pollen, collecting, contains, varieties, pollination, pruning, decidious, harvest, sorted, packed, products, factories, healthy, nutrients

Language memory- recall of 3-5 facts from the book, verbally express information learned

Attributes- describe types of apples given samples to taste (e.g. Granny Smith, Gala, Golden Delicious)

Applesauce Day by Lisa J. Amstutz

This book is ideal for children in preschool-2nd grade. The author takes the readers on a journey of a family who goes to an apple farm to pick apples for their grandmother’s yearly applesauce recipe. The family lives in the city, but they drive to the country to visit an apple orchard or farm. While there, all of the family members pick apples. Then they head to grandma’s house. I love the watercolor illustrations in this story. Kids will learn the process of making applesauce. First, wash the apples, Then, cut them into quarters. Third, drop the apple slices into a large pot. Fourth, add water and bring the pot to a boil while stirring to make sure that the apples don’t stick. Then, use a special kitchen tool called a food mill to further mush the apples into a puree. I like the use of figurative language in this story. Crank! Squish!(e.g. onomatopoeia) as the children press the applesauce through the food mill. Then the applesauce squishes through a strainer and flows like a river (e.g. simile) into the pan. Seventh, add more sugar as you wish. Eight, share it into different containers. Last, eat and enjoy the applesauce with your family. Many modern day children have probably never made applesauce, but the book teaches them about true farm-to-table eating in a fun way!

Speech/Language Targets:

Sequencing- recall the steps to make applesauce

Wh Questions- answer literal who, what, where, when, why questions

Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie by Herman Parish

This is a fun and light-hearted book that has been one of my favorite fall-themed fiction books for several years. The main character, Amelia goes to her grandparents’ home.  She is spending time with her grandfather outside while he’s raking up some leaves until grandma sends them on an errand to the farmer’s market. She needs some special Granny Smith green apples to make her delicious apple pie. Amelia eagerly goes with him on the errand. When they return she helps her grandmother make a large pie and then she makes a little one all by herself. When the pie is finished baking, grandma decides to put it outside to cool. This may just be a problem. Why might this not be a good idea? What will happen to the pie?

Speech/Language Targets:

Story Retell, Whs Question- literal/inferential questions, Sequencing, Problem/Solution

Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple by A.H. Benjamin and Gwyneth Williamson

Children in kindergarten- 2nd grade will enjoy this story. It’s a good book to work on basic story elements such as introduction, characters, character traits, rising action, falling action, and conclusion. In the story, a little mouse finds an apple and decides to roll it all the way to his house at the top of a hill because he was hungry.  However, he encounters several obstacles or problems along the way. Little mouse meets some animal friends, frog, tortoise, and mole that help him solve his dilemma. What will happen at the end of the story? Will little mouse get to enjoy his fall apple feast?

Speech/Language Targets: Cause/Effect, Problem/Solution, Story Retell, Wh/How Questions- literal/inferential questions, MLU (increase mean length utterance/simple sentences)

Home-Field Advantage by Justin Tuck

This is a great children’s story that has been a fall favorite of mine and many children over the years. The author is a former football player for the New York Giants and he tells the story about himself as a little boy. Justin, the main character, has five sisters and an older brother. One day his twin sisters decide to give him a haircut in the backyard. Reluctantly, he agrees to go outside and let them do it. How do you think that it will turn out?!  You are right. It was terrible! It looked like a reverse mohawk. How will their parents react when they see Justin’s new look? You’ll just have to read it for yourself to see how the rest of the book unfolds. Year after year, children in speech therapy always select this book when I have it on display. Here are some ways to use it to address speech/language goals.

Speech/Language Targets: WH Questions, Story Retell, Pragmatic/Social Language (e.g. What would you do if?)

Here are some other great children’s literature selections that you may use effectively during speech/language therapy to build essential skills this fall season:

In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes

A is for Autumn by Robert Mass

It’s Fall! by Linda Glaser

The Saturday Triplets Lost in the Leaf Pile by Katherine Kenah

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Elhert

The Saturday Triplets Lost in the Leaf Pile by Katherine Kenah

Flip, Float, Fly Seeds on the Move by JoAnn Early Macken

Leaf Man by Lois Elhert

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves! by Lucille Colandro

Remember to check out my Language & Literacy YouTube Channel ,  TPT Curriculum Store , or interactive Boom Learning Store for Fall Resources.