With summer winding down, we chose to give our Storytime families and kids a taste of a little science by introducing some plant vocabulary including, “root”, “stem”, “leaves” and “fruit”. Although I originally thought this topic might be a little bit too hard for the kids, they were able to grasp it, even the ones as young as three!
Plants Can’t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch
I love this book! Totally great for Stortime and keeping the kids engaged! The books illustrate how plants are not sedentary, rather, they are always wiggling, growing, squirming, reaching, climbing, creeping, and tumbling! Great vocabulary words! I had the kids help me act out all of the actions that the plants make. The action words are in red, which is also great to point out to parents to watch for different colored text to give us clues on how to make books interactive, and draw attention to the print! Again, I loved this book!
Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres
A cutely illustrated gardening story! I love that it really shows the plants in the illustrations! For example, we see a cross section of garden to see carrots, worms, and bugs all together under the soil. This is great to bring up the “root” vocabulary word, and it is so obvious that “roots” are under the ground! The book keeps repeating the “up, down, and around” line, so it is great to have kids mimic since they know what is coming!
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
I love Gail’s work! This can be a long book, so if your crowd is restless, skip right to page 20 (the pages are not numbered, so just count), where you see the large yellow seed. Use the “seed” vocabulary as you follow the seed through the next two pages. On page 22, we see the “root” vocabulary word introduced again. On page 23, we see the “stem” and “leaves”. On page 25, we see the “flower” or “buds”. Let the kids know that the flower part of the vegetale plant produces the fruit. Turn the page, and we are greated with an abundance of crops, many that come from the “flower” of the plant.
Rooting for You by Susan Hood
A clever little story. A seed is afraid to set down its roots, and then reach for the sun. A worm, however, is a very vocal cheerleader, and helps the seed have confidence that it is meant to be up there in the sun, air, and breeze! Several of the pages fold out unexpectedly to give us more room for illustrations that “grow”. The kids really liked that the illustrations opened up, but they were not into the story for some reason. Try to preview the book, and maybe just summarize the reading, instead of going word for word. Also, try to talk about encouragement, and what we say to each other when we are being encouraging. That might help the kids put the story in context.
Our local Farm to School educator came and helped with this lesson plan. She had a diagram of a plant on her easel and talked to the kids about the different vegetables that are roots (carrots, potatoes, etc), leaves (spinach), stalks (asparagus, celery), fruit (tomatoes). The kids had a little bit of a harder time grasping the lesson, but they were engaged the whole time. Afterward, she prepared some vegetables already cut up and served it to the kids on bagels or tortillas with cream cheese. A yummy snack to end Storytime with!