Saturday, February 4, 2012

Book #35: Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

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This color concept book features the flowers a young girl and her mother plant in the garden every year. The illustrations show the bulbs planted in the fall and the seed packages ordered in the winter. Then spring arrives and it’s planting time. The flowers that grow in the summer are showcased by color and the edges of the pages line up to form a rainbow.

There are two tissue paper crafts that connect well with this book. First, there’s the classic tissue paper flowers, they’re no-mess and easy to make. The second option is to make a rainbow garden with tissue paper squares and glue; much messier, but there’s a lot of variation in how you can stick the tissue flowers to the paper garden.

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Best of all, plant your own rainbow! Blogger 2tuesday suggests sunflowers, marigolds, and nasturtiums as good start-from-seed candidates. The Redwood Barn adds cosmos, morning glories, and borages. If you grow sunflowers, make sure to measure as they grow. Younger kids will benefit from writing the numbers and older kids can use the measurements to create a graph that compares the growth rates of two or more sunflowers.

Take a field trip to the garden store and spend some time looking at the seed packets. If you’ve got younger kids, discuss the different colors on the packets. With older kids, take turns reading the information on the packets.

If you’re using this book during a class or storytime, bring in several copies of the book and seed packets that match the flowers shown in the book. See if the kids can match the packet to the flower. Next open the seed packets and pour some of each seed into small containers. Which seeds are the smallest? The largest? Use this information to make a chart of flowers by seed size.


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