Our Favorite Signs of Fall Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will compare and contrast autumn in two parts of the United States.


Science Focus:



Social Studies Focuses:

geography, culture


ELA Skills:

key details, vocabulary, writing, compare and contrast


Page 4 Skill:

read a map






SL.2.3, RI.2.1, RI.2.3, RI.2.4, RI.2.10, L.2.1


Guided Reading Level: 



Lexile Level:


Provide students with some background on autumn.

Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video "Autumn is Here!" After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following question:

  • What happens in autumn where you live?

Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured word is festival.

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue and discuss the cover. What signs of fall do children
  • see in the background on each side?
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 3: “Think about what autumn is like where you live.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Assessment: Reading Quiz

Pass out the Reading Quiz to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.

  • In “What Did the Squirrel Say?,” children listen to the squirrel say a sight word. When they click the matching sight word, they collect an apple!

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important ELA skills. Here’s how.

ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the word festival.

Editor’s Pick: Write a Letter About Fall (15 min.)

  • The Your Favorite Signs of Fall skill sheet is a great way to help children explain what autumn is like where they live.
  • The scaffolded letter template lets students write to either child featured in the issue, mirroring the same categories of information presented.

ELA Focus: Compare/Contrast (15 min.)

  • The Autumn Where? skill sheet lets kids use a combination of cut-and-paste labels and their own drawing to make a chart.
  • When completed, the chart compares the two fall festivals from the issue.

 Here are two past issues you can use to extend your lesson on autumn:

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher-Lexile level: 520L
  • Lower-Lexile level: 390L