By: Jerriann Holte, Education Coordinator, ieDiscoveries
Leif, a young oak leaf, is worried.
He knows that as autumn comes, all leaves fall from their tree. With the help of a friend, Leif works to develop different tools that could help soften his landing, and, hopefully, conquer his fear of falling.
“I don’t want to bump my head,’ Leif says to his friend Laurel. ‘I don’t want to skin my knee. I do not want to fall!”
To combat his fears, the pair of leaves construct a net, a rope, a kite, a swing, a trampoline, and a parachute, none of which work.
“We told you,’ taunt the other leaves. ‘You were just wasting your time. All leaves fall in the fall.”
As Leif’s days grow closer to autumn, he begins to feel defeated. Sadly, his ideas hadn’t worked as he thought they would. Then, just as he began to accept his fate, he is blown right off the oak tree! Will Leif’s fears become true? Or will he find the gentle landing that he’s worked so hard for?
Leif and the Fall is a wonderful story of courage, resilience, engineering, and friendship. Throughout the course of the book, each design that the pair of leaves create is flawed: Their net made from twigs has too many holes, their moss and bark kite gets tangled upon descent, and so on. It’s often that many of us can feel like Leif, disgruntled by even the smallest imperfections. As the story continues, Leif’s time to fall finally comes. With no tools having been successful, that feeling of fear creeps back up inside him. However, once the fateful gust of wind pushes the young oak leaf from his tree, Leif lands on the pile of inventions that previously had been discarded (providing him with a perfectly soft landing). Leif’s journey is a fantastic reminder that flaws don’t always equal failure; each error is an important step in finding your success.
Throughout the story, Leif was feeling worried, both about falling and failing. I invite you to chat with your children about any anxiety and stress they may currently be feeling; with such a tumultuous world buzzing around us, worry can sneak in at any moment. Empowering your children with strategies to relieve their stress is a wonderful way to ensure that when those emotions do come, big or small, they have the tools to take charge.
In Kansas, children and adults are truly experiencing the leaves changing colors, whirling leaves outside, and the cooler temperatures in the morning. With the changing seasons, we recognize that not all regions of our country will experience weather changes similar to those in this book. However, the onset of each season reminds us to think about new materials to enrich the environment and various ways to enhance curriculum through Earth and Space Science. Additionally, we chose children’s books that might foster ideas, questions, problems to solve, and discussions with children during play.
Some of our favorite materials from Kodo to extend the learning in relation to weather and seasonal changes are the:
Sensory Leaf Matching Tiles
Natural Shape Viewers
Wool Creekside Story Props
Light lab Drawing Board
- Sensory Leaf Matching Tiles
- Natural Shape Viewers
- Wool Creekside Story Props
- Light Lab Drawing Board and Glass Crayons
- Wind Tunnel
Children’s books* that might spark some interest and conversations around Earth and Space Science:
- All Things Change: Nature’s rhythms, from sprouting seeds to shining stars by Anna Claybourne and Illustrated by Sarah Edmonds (New Release!)
- Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Illustrated by Jane Chapman
- The Roll-Away Pumpkin by Junia Wonders and Illustrated by Daniela Volpari
- Noah Chases the Wind by Michelle Worthington and Illustrated by Joseph Cowman
As you explore and engage in discussions about Earth and Space Science, let us know your ideas or favorite books! Especially for those of you that may not delight in the dramatic change of seasons as we do in the midwest.
*Kodo is not affiliated with any publishing companies and does not receive any compensation for book mentions. We’re simply fans of well written children’s books!