It was super easy to come up with a book for this week’s Story Time. You can’t beat Eve Bunting at picture books, and Sunflower House is no different from all her other brilliant works. With rhythmic rhymes, Bunting and illustrator Kathryn Hewitt lead your littles through the life cycle of a sunflower from seed to flower to seed as well as giving you the brilliant idea to plant a circle of sunflowers in which to play. I want a sunflower house myself!
I’ve come up with some very cool activities for you to do with your littles, too, so let’s get on with it.
Sunflowers are fun to work with, so let’s use them to make a couple of English lessons fun, too. I’ve made up two free printables for you (yay!).
The first is to practice beginning-middle-end. Picture books are the perfect place to start understanding plot arcs. Use this printable to help your little figure out what happens in the beginning of the book, what happens in the middle, and how it ends.
The second is to practice writing a descriptive paragraph. The center of the sunflower has a space for the main idea and the petals provide room for 6 supporting details.
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Of course, one of the easiest science lessons you can do with sunflowers is to buy some seeds and grow a sunflower… in your classroom window? That might take up a lot of room, but it’s a little late to plant seeds outside. Find some of those mini-sunflowers–they’re just as pretty, and you might actually accomplish what you set out to do.
While your littles are planting their seeds, you can read them this handy-dandy list of sunflower facts:
This is a cool craft for teaching your littles about the florets that make up a sunflower and the seeds that come from them.
What you need:
- White cardstock or construction paper
- Yellow Paint
- pinto or other brown beans
- green chenille stems
- school glue
What you do:
- Use a cup or other circular object to trace a circle in the center of your paper
- fill the circle with glue
- cover the glue with pinto beans to make the center of the flower
- Dip the edge of your sponge in yellow paint and sponge petals around the flower center
- Make a long stem with your chenille stem
- Cut a chenille stem in half and bend it to form leaves
Easy, cute, done.
Um, break out those seeds, please.
Want something even more fun? Make a sunflower ‘cookie’ using pie crust dough and sugar.
What you need:
- 1 prepared or homemade pie crust
- Yellow food coloring
- Chocolate chips
What you do:
- Put 1/4 cup sugar in a seal-able bag. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring and squish it around with your fingers until you have yellow sugar
- Cut a 1-inch circle from pie crust
- Cut some oval-shaped petals from the crust. Center them around the circle until you have a flower shape, pressing them into the circle so it forms one piece
- Place 2-3 chocolate chips on the center circle
- Sprinkle yellow sugar over petals
- Bake at 425F for 12 minutes or until pie crust is golden
I know, right? They’ll be bouncing off the walls. Take them for a walk.
Sunflowers are my favorite part of this time of year. They just strike me as summer’s last hurrah. And what a brilliant hurrah it is.
Have fun with them.
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