Celebrations Programs Chapter

Green Growing Celebration

Books to Share

  • The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry.
  • The Name of the Tree: A Bantu Folktale by Celia Barker Lottridge.
  • The Tree in the Wood: An Old Nursery Song by Christopher Manson.
  • Weslandia by Paul Fleischman.

Books to Show and Booktalk

  • The Escape of the Plant That Ate Dirty Socks by Nancy McArthur.
  • Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman.
  • The Victory Garden by Lee Kochenderfer.

Bulletin Board

Grow Green with Books

Make flowers by cutting stems and leaves from green craft paper, construction paper, or fabric. Staple the stems to the bulletin board. Use old book covers or write book titles on yellow paper circles to create the middle of each flower. Attach the flower centers to the top of the stems. Finish the flower by making petals out of brightly colored paper, tissue paper, or fabric scraps.

Nametag

Use the pattern included here to create a flower nametag for each child.

Displays

Is a Tree Just a Tree?

Collect objects or photos of things made from trees. Label each item. Examples of items to use include a pencil, paper, a book, instruments, jewelry, walking sticks, carvings, caning, a model boat, bark teas, and medicines (for example, salicylic acid to make aspirin comes from the willow tree.) A great resource for the virtues of over a hundred trees is Eyewitness Handbook: Herbs by Lesley Bremness.

Decorations

Create the ambiance of outdoors for the program room or the children’s area of the library. Gather real vines or purchase artificial vines and weave them around the books and other items being displayed on a tabletop or bookshelf. Hang vines around the room and use to them to decorate a refreshment table. Gather evergreens and wildflowers to put in vases on the tables. Put a drop or two of essential oils on cotton balls and hide them around the room to add outdoor fragrances. Lavender, mint, citrus, and pine are all good, safe choices. Avoid direct skin contact with the oils. Essential oils can be purchased at health food stores or synthetic fragrances may be used instead.

Safety note: Some essential oils are not safe for children. Use the fragrances that have been suggested or check with an herbalist.

Refreshments

Create signs that say “seeds,” “leaves,” “stems,” and “roots.” Separate the refreshments so that each item is placed in a bowl or on a plate in front of the sign for its correct category. Here are some suggestions: seeds such as peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds; leafy vegetables such as raw cabbage wedges, spinach, lettuce; stem vegetables such as celery sticks, asparagus, broccoli stems; and root vegetables such as carrot sticks, jicama, radishes, potatoes.

Safety note: Be aware that some children are allergic to peanuts. As an alternative, you may want to use the foods as a display.

Keepsakes

Plant Sprigs

Give each child a sprig of an herb or plant. Rosemary works great for this and is in many Texas gardens. It is amazingly fragrant, it is evergreen, and it does not wilt. It can become dried out, and is most fragrant when fresh. It is also the symbol for remembrance. The children can hang the plant sprig on a doorknob or put it in a vase of water. Check with nurseries and garden clubs for supplies, or ask patrons and staff if they have herbs to donate.

Lentil Garden

Buy seeds in bulk and divide into smaller envelopes. Variation: Buy lentils at the grocery store and divide them into small packages. Photocopy the handout with directions for planting a lentil garden. Give each child a little package of lentil seed to plant along with the directions for making a lentil garden.

Rhymes and Poetry

“Do Plants Eat?” in Merry-Ma-Tanzie by Moira Miller.

Trees

(By Sara Coleridge)

The Oak is called the king of trees.


The Aspen quivers in the breeze.


The Poplar grows up straight and tall.


The Peach tree spreads along the wall.


The Sycamore gives pleasant shade.


The Willow droops in watery glade.


The Fir tree useful timber gives.


The Beech amid the forest lives.

Songs

We Are Going to Plant a Seed

(Sing to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell.”)

We are going to plant a seed,


We are going to plant a seed.


Hi ho the derry-o,


We are going to plant a seed.

First, we dig a hole,


First, we dig a hole.


Hi ho the derry-o,


First, we dig a hole.

We place the seed inside,


We place the seed inside.


Hi ho the derry-o,


We place the seed inside.

We cover it up with dirt,


We cover it up with dirt.


Hi ho the derry-o,


We cover it up with dirt.

The summer sun will shine,


The summer sun will shine.


Hi ho the derry-o,


The summer sun will shine.

The rain will fall around,


The rain will fall around.


Hi ho the derry-o,


The rain will fall around.

The little seed will grow,


The little seed will grow.


Hi ho the derry-o,


The little seed will grow.

Garden Game Song

(Sing the English translation of this traditional song. The French version and a simple melody can be heard on the Kiddiddles Web site http://kididdles.com/mouseum/s113.html. It is also available on the recording Everything Grows by Raffi.)

Do you know the way to plant?


Plant the cabbage


Just as we do.


Do you know the way to plant?


See if you can do it too.

You can plant it with your finger.


Plant the cabbage just as we do.


You can plant it with your finger.


See if you can do it too.

(Repeat, substituting different body parts, such as elbow, foot, nose, toes, etc. Then try singing it in French.)

Savez-vous Planter les Choux?

Savez-vous planter les choux,


À la mode, à la mode,


Savez-vous planter les choux,


A la mode de chez nous?

On les plante avec les doigts,


À la mode, à la mode,


On les plante avec les doigts,


A la mode de chez nous.

On les plante avec les poings,


À la mode, à la mode,


On les plante avec les poings,


A la mode de chez nous.

Repeat, substituting different body parts. For example:

  • Doigts = fingers
  • Poings = fists
  • Pieds = feet
  • g'noux = knees
  • nez = nose

Audio Recordings

Play a recording of environmental music or sounds, such as Dream of Gaia by various artists.

Sing “Each of Us is a Flower” on Ten Carrot Diamond by Charlotte Diamond. It can be sung in two parts.

“Oh Cedar Tree” is a simple Native American song. Sing it a few times until the children learn the lyrics and can join in. It is on Hug the Earth: A Celebration of Life Through Music and Dance by Tickle Tune Typhoon.

Crafts

Leaf Collages

Materials
  • Leaves
  • Paper
  • Glue
Directions

Collect a variety of leaves and plants and have the children glue them onto paper to make designs and pictures. Use either fresh, dried, or pressed leaves. Torn or crumbled leaves, along with intact leaves, add interest and texture. Inexpensive silk or paper leaves can also be used.

Pressed Flower Bookmarks

Materials
  • Pressed flowers and leaves
  • Clear contact paper
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn or ribbon
  • Cardstock
  • Craft Glue (a brand that dries clear)
Directions

Flat flowers, like pansies and daisies, work best. In advance, dry and press the flowers and leaves by placing them between paper towels or newspaper and under a heavy object for two weeks. Books work great! Cut out bookmark-size rectangles from cardstock or heavy paper. Provide an assortment of dried flowers for the children to glue onto the cardstock. Carefully cover with clear contact paper. If desired, punch a hole in the top with a hole puncher and tie yarn or ribbon through for decoration. Variation: Make plant pendants by gluing the flowers onto a small circle of cardstock or cardboard. Cover with contact paper, punch a hole for yarn or string, and make a necklace.

Games and Activities

Capillary Action in Plants

Place a few drops of food coloring into a small amount of water in a glass. Place a celery stalk, with the leaves on, so that it stands upright in the glass with the wide end immersed in the colored water. Wait an hour or two and look at the top of the celery. The color will rise up the stalk. Variation: Cut a vertical slice in the bottom of a celery stalk. Put red food coloring in water in a juice glass, and blue food coloring in water into another juice glass. Place the glasses next to each other. Spread the celery bottom so one half stands in the red water and the other half stands in the blue water. Children can guess which color, if either, will rise to the top fastest.

Find the Forest

Make paper trees using the pattern provided. Hide a specific number of trees around the program room. Challenge the children to find all the trees to combine into a forest. If all the trees are found, reward the entire group with stickers or other small prizes.

Guest Speakers

Invite a member of a local garden club or master gardener program to bring plants from and talk about how to grow healthy plants. Your local extension office, listed on the Texas Cooperative Extension Web site at http://texasextension.tamu.edu, may be able to suggest a presenter.

Videos/DVDs

If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs to the children. Otherwise, display them for home use.

  • Miss Twigley’s Tree. (22 minutes)
  • Over in the Meadow. (9.5 minutes)

Web Sites

Gardening for Kids
www.gardenandhearth.com/4-gardening-for-kids.htm
Gardening for Kids includes gardening science fair projects, tips, and gardening crafts for kids.


KinderGarden
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/kindergarden/kinder.htm
This site is a great introduction to the many ways children can interact with plants and the outdoors.


Texas Cooperative Extension
http://texasextension.tamu.edu
This site features an alphabetical list of County extension offices throughout Texas.

Professional Resources

Eyewitness Handbook: Herbs by Lesley Bremness.

 



Texas Reading Club 2005 Programming Manual / Go Wild...Read!


Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011