Plant some new ideas

Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Early Learning, Nature Smart, Science, Vocabulary | 0 comments

Spring has finally arrived, even in Michigan, and many of us are pulling out plant and garden books. Here’s a good one to add to your bunch: Up, Down and Around by Katherine Ayers and Nadine Bernard Westcott.  In this book, kids learn that some things grow up, like corn and broccoli, some things grow down, like carrots and potatoes, and some things grow around, like pumpkin vines and green beans. You can talk about prepositions and location words, making a fun center with seed packets and magnets. (Being the frugal fanatic, I’ve started collecting free magnets from pizza parlors and real estate offices, cutting them up and hot-gluing them to pictures I want to use on magnetic boards. And did you know that cookie sheets are magnetic and make great little portable retelling boards? Cool, huh?) So, hot-glue magnets to the backs of seed packets and let kids sort them by what grows above or below ground on cookie sheets labeled “above” and “below”. If you have a green thumb, plant fun veggies like green beans and let kids ooh over the curling vines. And, if you are like me, the Dr. Kevorkian of the plant world, do a simpler experiment: Bring in potatoes, point out the “eyes”, and leave them in paper bags for a couple of weeks to see if they’ll sprout! Tie this book in with Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens, or pair it with non-fiction books like The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons. Hooray for spring!

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