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

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

Don’t miss the Harvest Moon



Possum celebrates the harvest moon with a party, but his intended guests are busy preparing for winter. Then, as the moon rises, the busy creatures leave their duties and hurry to Possum’s party for one final hurrah before winter’s long sleep.



CLICK HERE for lesson plans based on using Possum’s Harvest Moon as a mentor text for guided reading and writing.

Need some help answering the question, “What’s a Harvest Moon?”   Here you go – curtesy of Nasa.   Don’t forget to step outside and take some pictures of your very own harvest moon.

To Everything a Season

Whether it means chasing fireflies on a summer evening, enjoying a fire in the fireplace, or sharing the porch swing and small talk with your grandparent, each of us has a vision of home.  Memories are what create our definition of home and those memories are what we desire to identify and preserve for the next generation.

Join us at FirefliesBlog.com as we help you to capture 10 moments from your past, each prompted with the help of delightful children’s books…we call it a Chasing Fireflies’ Heritage 2 Legacy Moment.

9781596432161Book Prompt 2 of 10

Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Upson
Mary Byrne Kline shares her memory in her recent post Crabtree Catastrophe [Love, Button] Published September 14, 2016

The Legacy Moment Podcast #2
“To Everything a Season”


Gil Moegerle

Growing up in Western Pennsylvania my brothers, sister and I never needed a calendar to tell us summer had given way to fall. There was the start of the football season, everyone’s favorite sport. For the athletically challenged Moegerle boys fall meant the start of marching band practice.

Copper pot

Our family copper apple-butter-making pot. Photo courtesy of cousin Rebecca Jones, keeper of family legacies.

Then came our family’s annual apple pageant.  Some of us had the picking duties – gathering the fruit of granddad’s large backyard trees.  Another team of cousins, uncles and aunts peeled and cored.  Still another team mixed and cooked the apple sections along with wonderful seasonings in a huge kettle in granddad’s basement. I do not hear the product of this effort discussed much these days – apple butter.  (listen to full podcast)

SUBSCRIBE to Chasing Fireflies podcasts on iTunes.

Dear Parent and/or Grandparent,

Now it’s your turn. Tell a story about a memory – one moment – that centers around an apple tree, picking apples, or something made from apples.  Don’t worry about the finished look – we’ll get to that later.  Right now, just write or record one simple memory that begins with an apple.  You can do it!

Keep collecting your moments.

Deni Corbett