Discover the parts of a flower with this magical poem

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When I was living in Japan, springtime was filled with one beautiful flower after another. We could find flowering trees (especially plum and cherry blossoms), purple and blue hydrangeas, wisteria, tulips, rapeseed, azaleas, and lots of roses.

Now we’re living in Minnesota. It’s been too cold for anything to start blooming yet. Once it warms up, however, we can find gardens filled with colorful flowers–zinnias, daylilies, purple coneflowers, hollyhocks, daisies, bee balms, and more. This year we’re going to plant a pollinator garden to help the bee and butterfly population.

The kindergarten children at my former school learned about living things. They planted seeds and watched them grow. Look at a real plant with your students. 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? If you don’t have a real plant, you can often find a silk one at a bargain store. I like to show students a watering can, too. This graphic showing how to plant from a Garden of Goodies (Pinterest) may be helpful.

Looking at how seeds changed into a flower

My students loved this poem called Here’s a Leaf! They would ask to do it over and over again. Yours will, too! You’ll see the magic when you try it. 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.

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In my video, we take you to Munsinger-Clemens Gardens, one of my favorite places in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Special thanks to my son, Christian Vilina for his awesome video work.

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

Here’s a Leaf video

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, 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, , Oxford Discover (ELTon winner), Beehive (2022), all published by Oxford University Press.

Thanks again to my son Christian Vilina for his vision in creating this video.

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

Happy Earth Day!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Earth Day is now celebrated around the world on April 22nd. Since its inception in the US in 1970, it is now observed by more than a billion people globally every year. Earth Day is a day to take action and make changes. We can create global, national, and local policy changes to protect our beautiful planet Earth.

What can we do with our young learners? Let’s look at some music and movement resources that help our young learners recognize ways they can take action.

  1. My students loved this song! It teaches them some simple things they can do to protect our planet. Ms. Linky models some movements for the chorus. Write the letters EARTH on the whiteboard. My students really enjoyed spelling the word “E-A-R-T-H” with whole body shapes. They had a lot of fun dancing in their own way on the “na-na-na” part. Have fun!

2. Protect Our Planet is a simple song with a short chorus. It gives children ideas of the actions they can do.

3. My song Hello Spring teaches children to appreciate the beauty of the world around them. Follow this link for the video.

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!

For Earth Day, students can sing this version, then think about the things that they appreciate about their world. Write your own class song called “We Love The Earth” by adding seven new ideas.

We Love The Earth

Your version:

We love _______________. We love _____________________.

We love _______________. We love _____________________.

We love _______________. We love _____________________.

We love _______________. We love the Earth.

4. This is definitely one of my favorite songs by children’s singer/songwriter, Linda Arnold! It reminds children that our earth needs people who can live together peacefully. I’ve been singing and dancing to this song at the end of my volunteer lessons with children in Ukraine. Perhaps the first step to having a beautiful planet is having peace. You can watch my video from my online class here.

You’ll find the lyrics followed by the audio track below. Students can just hold hands in a circle, or add the following dance movements:

One Earth, one world (make circle shapes with arms first in front of body, then overhead),

One home (keep arms overhead, bend elbows to look like a roof), for you and me (point)

Together we can learn to live (gesture to friends or turn in a circle)

Peacefully (fold hands together).

Lyrcis for One Earth by Linda Arnold

There are many beautiful songs to help you celebrate Earth Day! I hope that you can help your children make a difference in the world.

You can find Kathy’s music at iTunes and ETJbookservice.

Jump Jump Everyone
Songs for the seasons, songs to transition, songs to move to . . . it’s all here in JUmp Jump Everyone!

My second album is filled with many happy songs that have grown in my young learner classroom. The songs encourage children to move. Many 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.

Happy teaching!

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, Oxford Discover, and Beehive (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. She has currently returned to her home state of Minnesota in the US.

If you’re interested in more of Kathy’s work, check out her YouTube channel at Kathy Kampa. Kathy has collected numerous activities to link with her here on Pinterest.

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