Discover the parts of a flower with this magical poem

Summer is here in the northern hemisphere. In Japan where I teach, we have been treated to an array of beautiful flowers from cherry blossoms to purple hydrangeas. I spend my summers in Minnesota. Here we can find gardens filled with colorful flowers–zinnias, day lilies, purple cone flowers, hollyhocks, daisies, bee balms, and more. In my video, we take you to Munsinger-Clemens Gardens, one of my favorite places to visit. Special thanks to Christian Vilina for his awesome video work.

The kindergarten children at my school learn about living things in their unit of inquiry. They plant seeds and watch them grow. Have your students look at a real plant. Look at the stem, the leaves, the buds, and the flowers. Do all plants have the same types of leaves? Buds? Flowers? What do they look like?

You can also use a picture of a flower like the one shown above, or get a silk one from a 100-yen store or a dollar store.

My students love the magic of this poem called Here’s a Leaf. Yours will, too! I use small, lightweight hemmed scarves like these. Search for “hemmed scarves” or “juggling scarves.” Check the reviews. I like mine! These scarves expand beautifully for this poem. Young children can practice naming the color, too.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 16.55.57

To begin, scrunch up the scarf in your hands, so that it can’t be seen. Here’s a video to show you how you might do it.

Here’s a Leaf (also known as The Flower Poemadapted by Kathy Kampa Available on iTunes (Jump Jump Everyone)

Children listen and answer.

Do you have a scarf? (Yes!) 

Let’s scrunch up our scarves. (tsch, tsch, tsch, tsch . . . . .)

(Bunch up the scarf in your hands so that it’s not visible.)

Is your scarf very tiny? (Yes, it is!)

Are you ready? (I’m ready!)

Let’s pretend.

Let’s plant a seed in the dirt.

(Bend down and tap the ground, pretending to plant a seed in the dirt.)

Water it!

(Pretend to water the seeds by tipping your hands.)

Watch it grow and grow and grow.

(Stand up slowly.)

Now show me your thumbs. Here we go.

Here’s a leaf, and here’s a leaf.

(Pretend that your thumbs are leaves. Wiggle one thumb, then the other.)

Count them. 1-2.

(When you count 1-2, move your thumbs up and to the side.)

Here’s a bud.

(Open your hands slightly to reveal the scrunched up scarf.)

Here’s a flower,

(Open your hands a little more.)

blooming just for you.

(Open your hands and let the scarf ‘bloom’ like a flower.)

Hooray!

(Toss the scarf into the air!)

Let’s grab our scarves and do it again!

For more kid-tested music and movement activities, check out my music on iTunes.

Jump Jump Everyone
Kathy has produced two music CDs for very young learners, Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays and Jump Jump Everyone, which build English language skills through movement while nurturing creativity and imagination! Grown and loved by real kids!

Kathy Kampa is a teacher, author, and teacher-trainer who specializes in working with young learners. As a PYP (Primary Years Program) teacher in Tokyo, Japan, she uses a globally-minded and inquiry-based approach to teaching through which students develop 21st century skills. She also supports the development of English language skills by creating songs, chants, and TPR/movement activities targeted to young learners’ needs.

Kathy and her husband Charles Vilina are also co-authors of Magic Time, Everybody Up, and the ELTon award-winning course Oxford Discover, published by Oxford University Press.

Special thanks to my son Christian Vilina for his vision creating this video.

Images: “Easter Lily” by Recherché Furnishings is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hello Spring

When I watch very young children, I often see them pointing at things–“Look! A butterfly! Look! A puppy!” Their chubby little fingers point to all of the wonderful things around them.

With that thought in mind, I wrote this song called “Hello Spring.” The melody comes from a traditional Scottish song I have always loved called “Ally Bally.” Imagine this song as a greeting to the many things one might see in the spring.

Hello Spring lyrics by Kathy Kampa on Jump Jump Everyone

Hello bluebirds. Hello bumblebees.

Hello red tulips. Hello cherry trees.

Hello warm sun. Hello blue skies.

Hello little ants, and orange butterflies!

We filmed this video in Tokyo, Japan at the start of the pandemic.

Special thanks go out to Andre DiMuzio for his beautiful arrangement. Thanks also to Connor McKeown and Christian Vilina for their help with this video.

  1. Teach students the vocabulary using the images here.

2. Use my movements from the video, or create your own.

3. I sing the song one part at a time, and the children echo. Then we all sing together.

4. Your students may have more ideas for what they see in different seasons. Create a list and make your own song.

You can find this song at iTunes and ETJbookservice.

My second album is filled with many happy songs that have grown in my young learner classroom. Songs link to classroom content. Children can dance like falling leaves, bloom like a spring flower, move through the butterfly life cycle . . . . you’ll find LOTS of fun and magic in this album.

Jump Jump Everyone

Happy teaching!

Kathy Kampa

Kathy's bio photo

Kathy Kampa is a passionate educator of young learners. She seeks to nurture children’s imaginations and spark creativity through fun and engaging activities. Kathy believes that music and movement should be a part of every young child’s learning.

Kathy is the co-author of Magic Time, Everybody Up, and Oxford Discover (published by Oxford University Press). She has been teaching young learners in Tokyo, Japan for 30 years. Kathy is also active as a teacher trainer, inspiring teachers around the world.

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The Flower Poem

%22The Rose%22 by Gualberto107

“The Rose” courtesy of Gualberto107 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you sing the Autumn Leaves song with scarves (see the blog post below this one), you might like to finish up with this poem about a flower. I first show my students a picture of a flower with leaves. I then use 27-inch hemmed scarves from West Music.com (item #540053). These scarves expand beautifully for this poem. However, you can use other scarves as well.

To begin, scrunch up the scarf in your hands, so that it can’t be seen.

Flower Poem (with scarves)

adapted by K. Kampa

Here’s a leaf, and here’s a leaf.

(Pretend that your thumbs are leaves. Wiggle one thumb, then the other.)

Count them. 1-2.

(When you count 1-2, move your thumbs up and to the side.)

Here’s a bud.

(Open your hands slightly to reveal the scrunched up scarf.)

Here’s a flower,

(Open your hands a little more.)

blooming just for you.

(Open your hands and let the scarf ‘bloom’ like a flower.)

 Here’s a video to show you how you might do it (click on the arrows in the lower right corner of the screen to see the full picture):