One of the things I love is connecting student activities to the seasons and the holidays. I have just seen time and time again how this one little thing can increase student engagement. And we all know that when student engagement increases so does learning! I’ve put together some of my favorite fall reading activities for the upper elementary classroom.
Mastering Main Idea
Helping students learn to identify the main idea and supporting details is a key skill we work on over and over again as upper elementary teachers. I’m not sure if there is such a thing as too much main idea practice.
The first step is engaging students in high-interest reading passages! These fall-themed reading passages are a great way to connect the season to the classroom. Your students will love learning about why leaves change colors, animal adaptations, the Northern Lights, the Harvest Moon, and many more fall-themed activities and events.
Each of these main idea passages is one paragraph that really allows students to focus on the task of finding the main idea and the supporting details. So often the main idea is just one of many questions in a reading passage. These fall passages are the perfect way to do focused skills practice.
Find all 20 fall reading passages for Main Idea and Supporting Details in the A Love of Teaching Store. There you can find other resources for teaching Main Idea, too!
Reading Passages with a Twist
We all know the importance of having our students work on reading comprehension skills. While connecting those skills to a short story or novel is great, it is not always an option due to time. A shorter reading passage with questions is a great way to work on skills in a less time-consuming way. But by the time our students reach upper elementary the novelty of reading passages has worn off.
I don’t want my students to dislike reading just because they aren’t crazy about reading passages, so I set out to create a fun reading passage. The result is these Reading Skills & Strategies Mystery Pictures.
In each reading activity, students will focus on a different reading skill or reading strategy. Using the text, students will answer the question. So far, pretty typical – but the fun is just about to begin. Next to each answer is a color. Students will use the color next to their answer choice to complete the mystery picture.
In the question above, if students correctly chose ‘b’ as their answer, they would go to the mystery picture and color all of the 1’s dark brown. After answering all the questions and coloring in the provided color, students will reveal the mystery picture. It’s makes a very easy way to grade or self-check by just looking at the picture.
A Digital Version Too!
With the increase in technology integration and virtual learning, I put together a digital version of these fun reading skills activities. The digital version has students completing the activity using Google Sheets.
Students will complete the reading activity and then enter their answers into the digital mystery picture. If their answer is correct, part of the mystery picture will automatically reveal.
These reading skills mystery pictures quickly became a class favorite and my students would ask for more. These fall Reading Comprehension Mystery Pictures comes in two different levels: 3rd & 4th Grade and 4th & 5th Grade.
Veterans Day Reading Activities
Teach your students about Veterans Day, its history, and why it is celebrated with this Veterans Day reading comprehension activity. Students will love learning about this important holiday.
This activity is an excellent way to connect language arts and social studies standards. Students will start by reading the 2-page reading passage. This non-fiction passage provides a great overview of the holiday. Then students can learn some little known facts about Veteran’s Day and the U.S. Flag. Students will be able to connect their learning with key reading comprehension skills.
Finish up the Veteran’s Day lesson with a writing activity for a great cross-curricular activity. Students can use the included thank you note template to write a short note of gratitude. These can be collected and sent to a Veteran’s Group like a VA Hospital where they can be shared with veterans, or students can be encouraged to take theirs home and give it to someone they know that is a veteran.
All of these activities can be found in the Veteran’s Day Non-fiction Reading Packet.
Fall Fun for Teachers Too!
Have you used digital stickers yet? These are a really fun way to add some fall pizazz to your grading, notes, and emails, or even your classroom management.
These stickers are so easy to use! Simply add them to a document like you would any image. They are perfect for grading digital assignments and adding a personal touch.
Not doing digital grading? Use them to create a fall-themed classroom management reward system. Students or the class can earn a sticker when they meet the goal. The goal could be anything you are working on like class compliments, 100% homework completion, or following the class rules.
You can find these fall digital stickers (and more too) in my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Save these Fall Reading Activities
Not quite ready for fall reading activities, just save this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can quickly get back here when you are!