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The Leaf Thief: a Fall Writing Craftivity to get your Class Excited for a New Season!

Updated: Sep 13, 2023




One of the BEST things about being a teacher is ALL. THE. SEASONAL. ACTIVITIES! I used to spend hours researching and putting together seasonal activities that would get my students excited and engaged, while enriching and differentiating for all ability levels. When I came across this fall read aloud, I could NOT pass it up!




The Leaf Thief is an ADORABLE book to use for all ability levels. From talking about changes that happen in fall, to dissecting the text with rich reading comprehension skills, inferencing, and writing practice, this book will instantly grab your learners’ attention. That's why I've created this Leaf Thief fall writing craftivity for your Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade students to enjoy this fall!


There are so many great ways to use this resource, that you could use them for an entire week’s lesson plans. I will break this down for you below, and I can’t wait to share everything that’s included.


Grab this resource here!




Fall Writing Prompts and Squirrel Craft Template



To make the template printing process easiest on you and your needs, I have included 3 different types of squirrel craft templates for you to choose from:

  1. Color print craft pieces

  2. Black and white craft pieces for your students to color on 2 sheets.

  3. Black and white craft pieces for you to print on colored paper.

All of these are labeled on the craft piece sheets so you know how to distinguish them from each other (and save paper!)


I don’t know about you but I love sitting down to read a book and making a connection with the characters. There is something so magical about relating to the fictional (or non fiction) characters in the story. I used to not be a reader until recently, when I really started trying to put myself in the character’s shoes and relating to their situations.


This is a great way to foster a love for reading in your students as well! As I was creating this resource, this was in the back of my mind, which is how I came up with these four, fall writing paper prompts. These writing prompts support reading comprehension skills and inferencing, all while allowing your students to connect with the characters:


  1. Who was the leaf thief?

  2. Why were the leaves falling off the trees?

  3. What would you do if someone was stealing your leaves?

  4. Why did the squirrel think someone was stealing his leaves?


These fall writing prompts are available in color print or black and white options as well.




Retelling a Story and Identifying Characters Flipbook Template



If you are looking to do a hands-on, more interactive writing activity to practice retelling and identifying a character in a story, these flipbook templates will be a great option for you. They are simple and easy to assemble so that your students can do them independently, saving you your precious prep work time! The flipbook prompts are:

  1. The Leaf Thief Retell

  2. Who are the Characters in the Story?

Your students will love retelling the story on these flipbooks. Students will glue the flaps down and write/draw a picture of what happened in order. They will use sequencing words "first, next, then, last" to retell the story. This is a perfect speaking and writing activity for your English Language Learners to practice using vocabulary that may be new to them. When I taught ESL, I constantly did story retelling exercises because it was a perfect way to hit major standards, but it also let them practice their speaking skills in a safe environment!


Another option is practicing identifying characters in the story. For this flipbook, students will draw a picture of squirrel, bird, mouse, and woodpecker on the top flap and write their name under the flap. This would be a perfect activity to do with your little learners, or to differentiate with students who may need extra practice in this skill.



Identifying Setting Worksheet and Easy, No-Prep Foldable Books



Identifying setting in a story is a concept that my students always seemed to forget, which is why I included the “identify setting” worksheet. This concept will be reinforced by your students drawing a beautiful fall forest scene and writing about it. This is a great time to stop and talk about the color of the leaves, the types of plants you might find in a forest, and changes that happen in fall.


Ever have those days where you feel rushed and underprepared? Don’t worry, friend. I’ve got you! These foldable books are so easy to just print, fold, and go for those days when you have 5 minutes left in your prep time– saving you the time and headache. These are another great option to practice identifying characters and retelling a story with your class!


Literacy Plans for next week- Done for you!


Now that you have a better idea of everything you’re getting, let me save your precious time by showing how you can use this resource for an entire week’s lesson plans:


Day 1: Read The Leaf Thief and make an anchor chart answering the following questions:

  • Who was the leaf thief? (talk about what a “thief” is)

  • Why were the leaves falling off the trees?


This can be a segway into a lesson about the changes that happen in fall. I used some amazing nonfiction books from getepic.com to help me teach about the changes that happen during fall. Ask students to make the connection between the leaf thief and what they just learned from the fall changes lesson.


Day 2: Read the book again, and choose a foldable book or flipbook template to identify characters in the story. Depending on your students’ needs, this can be done independently or as a class. This would even be great to use in a small group.


If you feel this concept is too easy or your students need the most practice with retell, you could use this time to complete the “Leaf Thief Retell” flipbook or foldable book.



Day 3: Review the anchor chart from Day 1. Choose which writing prompt you want to use to attach the craft to, and begin crafting another anchor chart. This will be a scaffold for your students to answer the prompt of your choice so that they can begin writing on Day 4.


Day 4: Review the anchor chart that you crafted as a class from the day before, and send your students off to write! Students who finish early could get a head start on the squirrel craft.


Day 5: Hooray! Happy Friday! Today is crafting day for students who haven’t started or need to finish. You could also use today to finish or catch up on any work students may have missed during the week. This would also be a great day for a reteach lesson in a small group for students who need more support.


I hope you enjoy this resource! The main goal is to help save you time and headache in your planning, and to add a little fall fun magic to your classroom. Click here to grab this resource in my store.


Happy Fall!


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