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. In the first half of the unit, 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


These assessments accompany this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

Prepare to teach this unit by immersing yourself in the texts, themes, and core standards. Unit Launches include a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning.

Essential Questions

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

Reading Focus Areas

  • Readers ask and answer questions about key details in a text to learn more about a specific topic. 
  • The main topic is what the text is mostly about. Key details tell more about the main topic.
  • To understand an informational text, readers think about how details are connected. 

In this unit, students begin to explore informational texts. Students continue to ask and answer questions about key details while beginning to explore what makes something a key detail. Students are introduced to the idea of the main topic and the connection between ideas. These strategies will spiral through the remainder of the year. 

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.

Speaking and Listening Focus Areas

  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions. 
  • Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges. 
  • Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally by asking and answering questions about key details. 
  • Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly. 

In this unit, students continue to work on clarifying and sharing their thoughts about texts read aloud or information presented orally by asking and answering questions, key work of Tier 1 of the three tiers of academic discourse. In this unit students also begin to progress to Tier 2 of the three tiers by learning strategies for continuing conversations through multiple exchanges. The focus areas and discourse in this unit align with all rows on the Academic Discourse Rubric. See the Teacher Tool on Tiers of Academic Discourse to help support students with the focus areas for this unit.



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.

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.

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.

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