Aileen Fisher's "Fall" and "A Leaf," Judith Viorst's "Summer's End" and Jack Prelutsky's "Fall" are four harvest poems for children to read. Others include Harry Behn's "The Last Leaf," Mary Hamrick's "Autumn" and Winifred C. Marshall's "In Autumn."
Most harvest poems describe the shift from summer to autumn, autumn itself, Thanksgiving or the coming winter. Older children may enjoy Aileen Fisher's "Fall," which describes the dismantling of a house in preparation for winter. While the poem is fairly straightforward, it ends with the subject wondering where ladybugs go for the winter, if they even have someplace to go.
Some harvest poems describe how seasons change and what these changes mean. Judith Viorst's "Summer's End" marks the end of summer by counting flowers as they die, watching butterflies disappear and realizing that she can't stop summer from ending. James S. Tippett's "Autumn Woods" describes how autumn feels and appears while standing in the woods.
Start younger children with shorter poems. Aileen Fisher's "A Leaf," for example, interests children because it rhymes, repeats words and describes what a child's life would be like if that child were a leaf. Marian Kennedy takes that notion one step further in her "A Bed in the Leaves," which describes how a child enjoys raking a pile of leaves and jumping in it. Jack Prelutsky's "Fall" imagines how a child stuck in school feels during the fall, when leaves change colors and the air turns crisp and cool. Winifred C. Marshall's "In Autumn" also imagines how children on their way to school feel about autumn. They skip along as leaves change colors and fall, cover flowers and "spread a fairy carpet" along the street.