Going on a Leaf Hunt!

(Updated 5/5/2022)

Listen Leaders,

I don't know about you, but I (the Mrs.) am a lover of all things fall.  The crisp morning air.  Corn mazes.  Pumpkin patches.  Pumpkin everything (Yes, I am one of those people).  Soups and *ahem* stews.  The smell and look as the leaves change color and begin to fall.  So, knowing it is right around the corner has me more than a little excited.  And then, it will be the perfect time to "[Go] on a Leaf Hunt."

If you have not read the book We're Going on a Leaf Hunt (links to Goodreads) by Steve Metzger and you lead littles in grades K-3, now is a suitable time to read (or reread) it.  Read on for short descriptions suitable for leaders and littles.

The Book Menu for Leaders
We're Going on a Leaf Hunt
In this piggyback book to "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," Metzger takes us on a fall adventure.  March in rhythm as the story weaves us over, through, around, and across obstacles to discover various types of leaves.  The fun with fonts, repetition, and onomatopoeia usage makes this book ideal for modeling literary devices and graphic elements to older readers.

The Book Menu for Littles
We're Going on a Leaf Hunt
We're going on a leaf hunt!  What will we see?  Come join us in a fall nature walk on paper.  Will you find something different than me?

Activities for We're Going on a Leaf Hunt

(You're just here for the activities in our Wolfe Pack? We get it! Here it is.)

Getting Ready

  • Listen (and move along) to the song, "Going on a Bear Hunt."  I like this one from author Michael Rosen:        

  • Share experiences from previous nature walks (in pictures or words).
  • Make predictions about the book based on their previous nature walks, and the "Going on a Bear Hunt," song.

On the Trail

  • Point out the graphic features Metzger uses and discuss why he chose to use them (Colorful text, arcing text, varying sizes, etc.).
  • Notice how many different colors the illustrator (Miki Sakamoto) uses on each page. Consider one of these procedures. 
    • Show your colors. Choose 9 students.  Assign each one a color (rainbow colors plus brown, black, and white) by giving them an object (construction paper) that matches their color. At the end of each page, tell them to hold up their color if they see it on the page.  Remaining students check for accuracy.
    • Color check. As you ask if each color is on the page, the littles signal if they see it.
    • Colorful data. Distribute a colors printout.  While you read the book, your littles tally how many times they see each color.  At the end of the book, discuss which colors appeared most and least often. We like this fuzz ball "Learn Your Colors" printout from Church House Collection. It comes in black and white or color. Or download our Wolfe Pack to get a fall-themed version.
  • Invite students to move along with the actions in the book - especially focusing on those prepositions (i.e. over, through, around, across).
  • Point out (and mimic) how the illustrator Sakamoto shows emotion and movement in her drawings.
  • Discuss how the types of tree leaves look different.
  • Ask littles to point out healthy habits of the characters in the book (drinking water, using life vests, staying together etc.)
  • Clarify why they would run from a skunk.

After Reading

  • Describe (draw a picture of) something you saw that you think no one else did.  Share descriptions (drawings) and see if others can guess what you saw.
  • Go on a leaf hunt!  Collect as many different leaves as you can.  Next, try to identify what trees are in your area.  Use leaf-id.com to help.  By answering a few questions about your leaf, the site identifies trees from around the globe.
  • Match the missing leaf to its mother tree in an activity provided in the download below.
  • Write a local version of We're Going on a Leaf Hunt, based on trees, obstacles, and wildlife in your neighborhood.  Consider whole class, group, and individual options here.
  • Illustrate prepositions.  Draw a picture for each preposition in the book.  
  • In this "Match the Letters," activity from Greatschools.org, littles draw lines to connect leaves with matching letters.

Download our "Going on a Leaf Hunt" Wolfe Pack for a printable version of all these activities, including instructional guides. Preview our favorite activity below.

A primary level worksheet. Cut leaves from the bottom and glue them above the tree of origin."
Just one of the activities in our "Going on a Leaf Hunt" Wolfe Pack.

To further enhance your leaf hunt fun, check out some of these other great ideas we've stewed on for you:

  • With this Leaf Scavenger Hunt from Edventures with Kids, your learners will practice:
    • Color recognition
    • Counting
    • Addition
    • Graphing 
    • Percentages (for the older ones)
    • Calculating mode (also for the older ones)
  • Use it as your focus story for a weeklong unit by including some ideas from Hubbard's Cubbard. Hubbard's Cubbard offers:
    • Daily instruction guides
    • A companion story suggestion - Have You Seen Trees? by Joanne Oppenheim (links to Goodreads)
    • A printable companion booklet for beginning readers. Fall Is
    • A related read aloud list that includes story and poem options
    • Cross curricular connections for math, art, literacy, and science
    • Additional related internet resources.
  • Complete a leaf scavenger hunt and an experiment to discover why leaves change color at education.com

Here's to hoping this book gets you and your littles in the mood for fall!

At Your Service,
Offering samplings of life by a husband and wife

Interested in even more educational resources?  Then stop by our Learning Lab.  It's here where we store all the educational resources we've cooked up to date.  


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