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Clifford the Big Red Dog: Fall-Themed Math and Reading Activities

By Donna Cosmato

In this Clifford the Big Red Dog learning about autumn lesson plan, Clifford and Emily Elizabeth celebrate Clifford’s first Autumn. This literacy lesson plan includes teaching activities like math word problems and writing instructions for favorite autumn memories.

Lesson Overview and Objectives

This Clifford the Big Red Dog learning lesson is designed for elementary students who read and write independently. Present it as-is or adapt to fit specific curriculum standards. It takes about 45 minutes.

Clifford the Big Red Dog Books 

You will need a copy of Clifford’s First Autumn and the teacher worksheets provided below. Math and literacy skills are encouraged while students hear about Emily Elizabeth and Clifford’s autumn adventures.

Educational objectives:

  • Exercising math and critical thinking skills
  • Encouraging deductive reasoning
  • Predicting events based on pictures
  • Encouraging emergent readers

Teaching the Lesson

Show the book cover to the class. Ask the children to predict what the story will be about, and record their predictions. Test their predictions at the conclusion of the book to see how closely they match the story events.

Use these discussion questions:

  • How old is Clifford when the story takes place?
  • What time of year is it when the story starts?
  • What season comes after summer?
  • How did Clifford know that autumn had arrived?
  • Why couldn’t Clifford chase the birds anymore?
  • What did Clifford find in the leaves?
  • What happened when Clifford ran with the football?
  • Who scored the winning touchdown?

Use these questions about Clifford the Big Red Dog to test reader recall and comprehension of the story.

Teaching Activities for Math

To prepare these worksheets, copy and paste the text in italics into a word processing program. Make copies for all students.

  1. Clifford chased five birds. Three birds flew away to go south for the winter. How many birds were left? _______ Why? _______
  2. Emily Elizabeth bought two bunches of flowers. Each bunch cost $1.00. How much did Emily Elizabeth spend on flowers? _______ Why?_______
  3. Clifford looks out his window and sees leaves falling. If he sees thirteen leaves on Monday and eight on Tuesday, how many more leaves did he see on Monday than Tuesday? _______ Why? _______
  4. Clifford had five pumpkins until he smashed one. How many pumpkins does Clifford have now? _______ Why? _______

Teacher Answer Key: two, 5-3=2, $2.00, $1.00+$1.00=$2.00, five, 13-8=5, four, 5-1=4

Literacy Teaching Activities

Write four interesting sentences telling what you like best about autumn. Be sure to capitalize letters that need capitalization and use correct punctuation. Use at least two of the following words in your sentences: frosty, pumpkins, leaves, football

Writing Activity

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Summary and Recommended Book List

Read these Clifford the Big Red Dog learning-themed books to classes or use them at home to extend previous lessons:

  • Clifford’s Christmas, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1984]
  • Clifford’s First Valentine Day, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1997]
  • Clifford’s Halloween, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1986]
  • Clifford’s Thanksgiving Visit, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1993]
  • Clifford’s First Halloween, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1995]