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