Fall Comprehension~ ‘Apples and Pumpkins’


Once Upon A Story there was a book named, “Apples and Pumpkins,” By Annie Rockwell. “Apples and Pumpkins,” takes your little one on a young girl’s family fall adventure picking apples and pumpkins; and is one of my favorite fall books to use when I teach reading comprehension!

What is reading comprehension? It is the ability and skill to understand what you read. Just like we teach the skill of blending (putting letters together to make words), we need to teach the skill of comprehension.

Read “Apples and Pumpkins” and dialogue using these 5 basic questions below to model and foster the skill of comprehension! img_3575

WHO- Who is the story about? A family: Mom, Dad, and young girl

WHAT- What are they doing? Traveling to a farm to pick apples & pumpkins

WHEN- When does the story happen? One day in the fall/ October

WHERE- Where does the story take place? Comstock Farm

WHY- Why does the family go on this adventure? To pick apples & a pumpkin for their Halloween activities!

Click HERE to download my *FrEe* APPLE and PUMPKIN question cards for added fun!

Over the years, I have taught many children who can read above their grade level, but struggle when asked these basic comprehension questions. If your little learner can read, but does not remember or understand what they read, it will limit their reading success. These basic comprehension questions (who, what, when, where, why) are asked in all grade levels, so why not help your little learner begin to understand these questions early for future success?

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Another great way to work on comprehension with “Apples and Pumpkins,” is to compare and contrast the story with what your family does when it is fall. Do you go to a farm to gather apples and pumpkins? Do you carve a pumpkin? Do you hand out apples on Halloween or something different? Comparing and contrasting “Apples and Pumpkins” to your child’s real life experience is a true ‘higher order level thinking’ activity!


“Apples and Pumpkins,” is a wonderful, snuggle-up-and-read fall story to use to help your little learner consciously learn how to comprehend; and I hope it makes its way into your home!


So, do you have a fall family adventure that you do every year?
I would love for your little learner to illustrate one of your fall family adventures using
*FrEe* drawing page (pictured above) and tag me in it:
@mushmushreaders OR #mushmushreaders

Fireflies Presents: Apples!

applebaskettemplate copy

 In today’s post we’re going to enjoy some verbal PLAY with puppets, songs, and a poem by Mary Byrne Kline!

 Our puppets are original illustrations by Kevin Bartle.  Our Fireflies Presents scripts typically come in full color. The puppets we are sharing with you today are created as a base for your creativity. We want to invite you to print them out and let your little one do the coloring! After you’ve colored your own puppet masterpieces, use them as a prop to enhance your singing experience.

We’ve kept it simple — promise!

Just print out the puppets HERE and the songs HERE, as well as the easy peasy directions HERE!

Voilà! You’re ready to go!



Jocelyn Bartle

How to Make an Apple Pie

Author and Illustrator: Marjorie Priceman

I’ll never forget my shock as a young child visiting a farm for the first time and seeing a cow being milked. I had always thought that milk simply “came” from the grocery store, but from a cow – never! My questions while learning to bake with my mother were now endless: “Where do eggs come from? cinnamon? vanilla? brown sugar? Crisco?”  Simply being told that these items came from the store no longer satisfied me; I wanted to find out where all ingredients came from.  Baking from scratch meant someone had gone to an awful lot of work so that I could bake chocolate chip cookies or an apple pie.

The energetic little baker in our story finds that her market is closed and sets out on a whirlwind trip to gather the ingredients necessary to bake an apple pie. Readers of all ages will enjoy the colorful illustrations and easy narrative as she searches worldwide for what she seeks: cinnamon in Sri Lanka from the bark of the kurundu tree, the finest wheat for flour from the countryside in Italy and sugar from Jamaica.  I was delighted to see that she, too, milked a cow for the freshest of milk to churn into butter!

You’ll be given a recipe for pie crust and apple pie at the end of the story. I suggest you simply go to the grocery store, unless you too, really want to make a whirlwind trip around the world for your ingredients!

Mary Kline

 Check out How to Make an Apple Pie by watching the video below.

More Apple Books & Lesson Plans

If yo0000437_johnny-appleseed-1u are looking for a book about Johnny Appleseed you will have no problem finding one, that’s for sure.   I have a favorite one by Will Moses.  I absolutely love the artwork of Grandma & Will Moses.   We’ll talk more about the Moses family next month, but in the meantime, his illustrations in this book are simply exquisite.  Each page worthy of being framed.

Check out “A Day in First Grade'”s post about MAKING APPLESAUCE in your classroom.   (You may also want to stick around and check out some of her other posts…I know I am!)

Elizabeth has created an adorable Lit Trading Card for Johnny Appleseed!
Check her post tomorrow  – you have 48 hours to download FREE!

Apple Exploration

Here are some other apple books and lesson plans you might enjoy sharing with your students.


Apples, Apples, Apples
Use the book to teach about the characteristics of different types of apples through cooking and other activities.
Lesson Plan


Apple Farmer Annie

Introduce students to the systems farmers use to sell the vegetables and fruits (apples!) they grow. Set up a “farmers market” in where students will sort, sell, and buy apples. Lesson Plan pdf