Fall Harvest – as Bounty for the Mind

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If you view fall’s harvest or September’s full moon as a festive wonder, you’ll also want to spot celebrations fit for storing sustenance to use in colder, darker seasons. Or do you?

fall leavesPerhaps while caught up in the delights of fall, you fail to think much about winter.  Even so, that does not stop winter’s freeze from coming.  Nor will lack of planning now stall your need later to find food in your brain’s larder for the coming challenges of a chilly season.

Like fall’s plentiful fresh food, mental sustenance is also plentiful in certain seasons. In darker seasons of scarcity though, we retrieve wisdom to hold onto our sense of wonder by drawing on happier, or more meaningful experiences. September’s fall harvest, reminds us to store these for retrieval as fuel throughout winter’s freeze. How so?

Just as animals prepare to move when autumn signals winter, we can migrate so to speak, by heading south where living is easier.  Let’s face it though, like many mammals and some birds most of us cannot migrate far. Instead we navigate dark winter mental seasons with sizzling strategies stockpiled in nutritional storerooms.

In many cases folks tend to slow down a bit in winter. We tend to huddle into sheltered mental dens or slip into regular states of inertia.  In order to emerge in good shape after a lengthy winter freeze though, we need strategies and well stored bounty, from  mental reserves.

In much the same way black bears eat ravenously in early fall to add one-third of their body weight in the months before they hide away in dens, we deliberately store mental reserves before darker seasons strike.

Like deer build fat reserves to nurture them through winters of scarce food, where they’re restricted to winter rations of tree buds or less, we too can store mental equivalents of beechnut, acorns or berries to thrive during colder days.

It’s often a matter of deliberate decisions to go after ‘brain” food to sustain you in tougher times, when storms roll in. In fall, turkeys and ruffed grouse compete for prize foods, full of protein and fat, in competition  for sufficient food to shape-up for winter. Soft berries, grapes, and other fruits act like ice cream for delayed dessert. What will you choose for mental reserves?

What you stockpile will differ depending on how you navigate challenges. Animals such as squirrels, blue jays, and chickadees, for instance, remain relatively active throughout their winter challenge. Yes, they still need a cache of food, but these birds store it one seed at a time, unlike squirrels and mice who pile reserves into sheltered places and enjoy root cellar reserves until the next sunny season of plenty.

Singer-song writer, Amanda McBroom put it this way:

When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long, and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong, just remember, in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow, lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.

What fall foliage will pack your mental stash before the changing of the leaves alters your mental cycle from bountiful to bare or hidden beneath the bitter snow?

Time equals value here. Just as food value in leaves peaks when they’re green, while it lessens when they lose chlorophyll and change color, you’ll want to gather early before mental opportunities disappear or nourishment dries up on a forest floor. How so?


Looking to create a fall writing harvest – wisdom that prepares learners for mental challenges in the fast-approaching winter season?

Students love harvest themes and personal brain facts in this Informational text related to fall’s gala and to their wellbeing.


Find guided higher order thinking here, brain based tasks, on festive fall harvest themes.

Students enjoy this self-contained lesson and teachers enjoy ready-to-go materials for textual analysis, with everything needed to lead critical reasoning skills. In this lesson, students achieve leadership skills through close textual analysis of informational text on a topic they enjoy.

Find included in this lesson

➢ Brain based tasks, directions and rubrics
➢ Original text – ‘Fall Harvest – Bounty for the Mind”
➢ Graphic organizer to plan an essay
➢ 12 posters with quotes from famous and popular quotes
➢ Brain facts with an opportunity to apply these in practical and fun ways
➢ Suggestions for additional uses of the materials

This fall harvest related text offers an interesting way to introduce your students to community-building-leadership in ways they find relevant and with subject matter they enjoy. They look for and write about practical ways to store mental well-being, by capitalizing on their brain’s unique potential to sustain itself – even in difficult situations.

This fall harvest lesson aligns with ELA-Literacy CCSS 8-12 – especially through the following standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

Your students will also benefit from the following related materials:
Analyze text through MI Task Cards – CCSS Aligned http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Analyze-Text-Through-10-Multiple-Intelligence-Tasks-CCSS-Aligned-874059

Analyze Speech for Author Effectiveness – CCSS Aligned

Hopefully these ready-to-roll brain-based materials will benefit your learners and leaders as they do mine at middle, secondary, university levels and beyond.

Do follow my TpT site and keep up with brain-friendly materials to enhance your class.

If you have any further questions about how to get the most from this product, please do contact me at ewebermita@gmail.com and I’ll be glad to help further.

All the best as you learn and lead with the brain in mind!

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset