The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.
Written by Kate Messner

Gianna has less than one week to complete her leaf project if she wants to compete in the upcoming cross-country sectionals, but issues like procrastination, disorganization–and her grandmother’s declining health–seem destined to keep her from finishing.

Primary Source Pairing:
Gianna has an assignment to collect leaves for her science class and time is running out. Despite her best efforts, the leaves she has collected keep disappearing. With help and determination, Gianna is able to finish the project in a way that represents who she is and in a way that makes her proud. Use the leaf identification guide to give students the experience of identifying leaves. This is visual literacy at its best! For schools with one-to-one devices, check out the leaf identification app at

Questions for Discussion / Leaf Identification:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What can you learn from examining this image?
  • What shapes or clues help you identify the leaf?
  • What visual evidence did you use to identify the leaf?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Leaf Identification Chart: from the iMom website.