Teaching Earth Science with Children’s Literature: Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf


Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf , written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert, is a simple story that describes the growth of a maple tree from seed to sapling.

This book is written as if a child were telling their friend about a special leaf he/she has been saving to show them.  The child tells the friend how it came to be – from a seed that sprouted, grew into a sapling, then was planted in their yard.  It takes the reader through the cycle of seasons, as well as the growth stages of a tree.  The illustrations are bright and colorful.

Curriculum Connections:  Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf is a good book for teaching the concept of seasonal changes as they relate to the life cycle of a tree.  SOL 1.7

Additional Resources

  • This Scholastic website offers several ideas for reinforcing the lesson on seasonal changes, fall leaves, and harvest time, utilizing the areas of poetry, language arts, and math.
  • In an effort to further understand the seasons, this website outlines a lesson plan on the four seasons, as well as an activity to create a “seasons book” that can be used as a tool to measure their knowledge and understanding of this concept.
  • This website offers a printable cut & paste activity for students to paste the appropriate activity under the proper season.
  • General Information:
    : Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf
    Author: Lois Ehlert
    Illustrator: Lois Ehlert
    Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company
    Pages:  40
    Grade Range: K-1
    ISBN: 0-15-266197-2

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