Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Garden-themed story time

I enjoyed presenting a garden-themed story time to my two groups at the rec. center preschool. We had a great time together learning about seeds, flowers and tomatoes!

After our opening song, "When ducks get up in the morning," I read the book, Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming. The story is about a gardener who is excited to see his plants grow, except to learn that three bunnies keep invading his space. He does everything he can to protect his vegetable garden.

I introduced a special friend to them...

...Benjamin Bunny! He helped me as I read the following poem to the kids:

Here's a Rabbit

Oh, here's a fluffy rabbit
With two ears so very long
See him hop, hop, hop about
On legs so very strong.
He nibbles, nibbles carrots
For his dinner every day
And as soon as he has had enough
He hops, hops, hops away.

The next book I read was Flower Garden by Eve Bunting. With it's colorful pictures and simple narration, this book is perfect for preschoolers. The story is about a girl and her father who put together a special surprise for her Mom's birthday.

I taught the following finger play to the kids. They joined in the second time around.

My Garden

This is my garden (extend palm)
I rake it with care, ("rake" with three fingers)
And then I plant flower seeds in there. (pretend to plant)
The sun will shine, (hold arms in circle over head)
And the rain will fall, ("rain" fingers)
And my garden will blossom, (cup hands)
And grow straight and tall. (stretch arms and hands slowly)

The last book I read was One Little Seed by Elaine Greenstein. It's a simple story of how a seed grows into a sunflower. To go along with that, I read one last poem:

In the Heart of a Seed (by Kate Brown)

In the heart of a seed,
Buried deep, so deep,
A dear little plant lay fast asleep.
"Wake," said the sunshine, "and creep to the light."
"Wake," said the voice of the raindrops bright."
The little plant heard;
And it rose to see
What a wonderful outside world might be.

At the end of our time together, I pulled out a packet of tomato seeds from my bag. I went around the circle making sure each kid got to see them. Then, I pulled out one of my dixie cups with the tomato seedlings we've started at home. One girl asked if she could keep it. I told her that her teachers could keep it for all of them to enjoy.

The last thing I pulled out was a roma tomato. I wanted them to see the progression from seed to fruit (or veggie). We talked about what kinds of things are made from tomatoes, too. 

Benjamin Bunny reappeared and he helped me sing the "Good-bye Song." Just to refresh your memory, here are the words that are sung to the tune of the "Mickey Mouse Club Song."

Now it's time to say good-bye, 
Good-bye to all of you...
Have a great day, read some good books,
And I'll see you real soon.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how you can present a garden-themed story time to your children, grand children or students. Have fun!

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