Fall Picture Books for the Primary Classroom

Use wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated fall picture books like these with your lesson plans this autumn.

As the weather begins to turn a bit cooler, and the leaves begin to change, it’s time to pull out the fall picture books! Come along to see some of my favorite fall picture books that are perfect for teaching your students all about the seasonal changes of autumn.

Use wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated fall picture books like these with your lesson plans this autumn.

Using Picture Books in the Classroom

I love using picture books to bring my classroom lessons to life. In fact, I have such a deep love for children’s books, that I swap out the ones on our shelf with each theme we’re using. We use picture books in the classroom all year long to complement our lessons and to get students excited about what we’re learning.

Initially, I like to read picture books aloud to students. Often, I will select a read-aloud that aligns with our lesson or focus for the day. We might do some brainstorming or make an anchor chart afterward. Typically, I also make the book available for kiddos to flip through independently in our class library. I love that picture books help to facilitate the topics we’re learning about and create classroom community!

In the fall, we spend a fair bit of time reading about apples and pumpkins, but after that, it’s time to move on to fall leaves and Thanksgiving themes! If you’re in need of some inspiration when it comes time to plan your fall picture books for the season, I’ve gotcha covered! Here are 10 of my favorite fall picture books for the primary classroom!

1. Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro

First up, let’s kick off this list with one of my favorite fall picture books!

This story is absolutely perfect for helping your littles understand the seasonal changes occurring around them in the fall.

Include the book Why do Leaves Change Color in your list of fall picture books to help your kiddos understand seasonal changes.

This book is a deep dive into science-based topics that are perfect for fall.

It’s filled with simple, easy-to-understand diagrams on photosynthesis and different types of leaves.

If you’re looking to take learning outdoors, this book also provides a list of ideas for viewing leaves as they change colors.

This book even includes leaf activities you can try with your students, such as leaf rubbings and leaf pressings.

This is a great book to read aloud and then keep in the library for students to flip through during the fall!

2. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro

If you teach in the primary grades, you already know that a bit of silliness is a requirement from day to day!

Include this super silly book in your library of fall picture books for an instant hit in your classroom.

I love embracing this with a fun, fall picture book like this one.

This book is based on the classic song, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and introduces plenty of fall vocabulary words.

Personally, I loved reading this one aloud and then having kiddos expand on the story as a writing prompt.

We did this by brainstorming other fall things the old lady might have eaten and coming up with silly reasons why.

This is a great fall activity to keep those kiddos smiling and draw them in when attention spans are thinning!

3. The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming

This next book is a super cute story that always makes an appearance in the fall months in our classroom.

In this book, a squirrel loves admiring and counting the fall leaves on his tree.

One day though, he notices one is missing! This book follows his quest to find the missing leaf accompanied by his friend, Bird.

As the two hunt for the missing leaf, they discover how seasonal change could be their culprit!

This book is beautifully illustrated and is a great way to show children who might not have autumn colors in their neighborhood what fall can look like in other areas.

It’s also another great book for explaining what happens to trees in the fall and why.

4. How to Catch a Turkey by Adam Wallace

Have you read any of the silly stories in the “How to Catch a….” series?

If not, you’re in for a fun adventure!

This fall picture book tells the story of a runaway turkey on the loose in a school the night before the Thanksgiving play.

Children will love following along as the students in the book search high and low.

This book ends with a super silly and funny twist that your kiddos will love!

5. Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White

In this story, students will hear the story of Rebecca, who has hated pumpkins since she was a young girl. When a giant pumpkin falls off of a truck and gets smashed in her yard, she covers the mess up with dirt and forgets all about it.

After some time, she is surprised to see sprouts popping up everywhere and eventually ends up with a field full of pumpkins in her garden!


This book is great for illustrating the life cycle of a pumpkin as well as the different seasons in a garden.

Your students will love following along as Rebecca tries to figure out what to do with her overabundance of pumpkins!

6. Fall Mixed Up by Robert Raczka

Year after year, this is always one of our favorite fall picture books!

In this story, a young boy gets his months mixed up. As a result, a story unfolds with all kinds of crazy events!

I love using this one to help encourage some conversation and interaction from students during story time.

Students will love identifying what’s wrong in the sentence or picture and replacing it with the correct item.

You can even take this a step further by creating an anchor chart as you read. Simply make a column with items that do belong in the fall, and things that don’t.

7. We Give Thanks by Cynthia Rylant

If you’re studying topics of gratitude and giving thanks this fall, you’ll love this next book!

In this story, students will explore simple things to be thankful for.

This is a great way to open the conversation around gratitude and put it into practice.

After reading, it’s fun to go around the circle and ask students to name something they are thankful for too.

Use this exercise as a sentence starter writing activity, make gratitude cards for loved ones, or make a class anchor chart with all the things your students are thankful for!

8. If You Find a Leaf by Aimee Sicuro

Next up, is another one of my favorite fall picture books, with a bit of a twist. This book is absolutely filled with imagination!

In this story, students will look at leaves through a new lens as the author uses real leaves in the pictures of the illustrations.

This story follows a young artist as she collects leaves and every new one found sparks inspiration for an idea.

I love this concept and it can easily be applied to a fun classroom project after reading.

Take some time to go on a nature walk around your school or home and hunt for leaves. Then, check the book for the fun craft ideas included for students to create their own leaf artwork! These are so fun to display in your room during the fall season!

9. A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

I love this silly fall picture book so much! If you need a heartwarming Thanksgiving story to read before the break, you’ll love this one.

In this story, Mr. and Mrs. Moose invite all their animal friends for Thanksgiving dinner.

Once the fun begins, they realize their friend Turkey is missing!

After they find him, they realize that poor Turkey thought he was going to be on the table for Thanksgiving dinner, rather than a guest.

This funny holiday tale will put a smile on students’ faces as you celebrate Thanksgiving in the classroom.

10. Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak

Last on my list of fall picture books is this beautiful story of wishing summer goodbye and welcoming autumn.

If you’re looking for a way to help illustrate what it means when the seasons change, this book will be a perfect fit!

Students will love the beautiful, watercolor pictures and descriptive language in this book that tells the story of summer ending, and autumn beginning.

This story is great for reading aloud before creative writing time to help prompt students on their favorite thing to look forward to in the fall!

Even More Fall Picture Books

Hopefully, this list got you started with some fun reading ideas for fall. If you know me, you know it’s hard for me to narrow down my favorites when it comes to books! For this reason, I compiled a huge list of all my favorite fall picture books on Amazon. Check out the whole list if you need even more inspiration for read-aloud time this fall!

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