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.
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.
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 Poem) adapted 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 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, 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.