Celebrating 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 3


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

Supporting Materials


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

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

To learn more about how to prepare a unit, internalize a lesson, and understand the different components of a Fishtank ELA lesson, visit our Preparing to Teach Fishtank ELA Teacher Tool.

Essential Questions

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

Writing Focus Areas

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

  • Name the topic they are writing about. 
  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to include some information about the 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.



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

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 3, view our Kindergarten Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Content Knowledge and Connections

  • 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

Common Core Standards

Core Standards


Supporting Standards

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Unit 2

Noticing Patterns in Stories


Unit 4

Falling in Love with Authors and Illustrators

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