Get ready to watch learning bloom with this colorful unit! This week, we’ll learn about flowers in a variety of ways, from dissecting a real bloom to using flowers to inspire our math and literacy activities. (Note for grownups: We aren’t going to talk about pollination this week, but look for that lesson in our upcoming Insects + Spiders Unit and Butterflies Unit.) Click here for our downloadable skills tracker to keep a record of what you read and work on.
Note: Occasionally we include project upgrades (for kids ready for more) and modifications (which can be useful for including younger siblings). We’ll mark those with the plus (+) or minus (-) symbols.
What you need:
Books (find at your local library or order below on Amazon):
- What’s Inside a Flower? And Other Questions About Science and Nature by Rachel Ignotofsky
- The Big Book of Blooms by Yuval Zommer
- The Night Flower by Lara Hawthorne (or listen to this read aloud)
- Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D’Agnese (or read it here on OpenLibrary)
Optional additional reading:
- The Treasure Hunter’s Handbook by Liza Gardner Walsh – If your family spends a lot of time outdoors exploring streams and ponds, this is an excellent resource you will use for years. For this lesson, pages 24-34 will be most helpful. (You can also find it on OpenLibrary here!)
- Sing a Song of Seasons edited by Fiona Waters – We reference this book of poetry often throughout our units because it provides one song for every day of the year. It’s a great staple to have in your homeschool library, especially if you’re a family that enjoys Tea + Poetry!
Supplies (use what you have, but here are links to shop if you need anything):
- fresh flowers – Throughout the week, your child will need 3-6 flowers for an arranging activity, three white flowers for a stem experiment (carnations or daisies are ideal), one lily for dissection.
- paper + access to a printer (don’t have one? we like this model)
- 3-5 small vases or jar (ideally at least one with a narrow neck)
- small funnel (optional)
- small pitcher or glass measuring cup
- ingredients for these cookies (including edible flowers)
- 4-6 toilet paper rolls
- decorative tape (optional)
- faux flowers (you could try it with real flowers, too!)
- heavy tape or adhesive (to stick to a wall)
- food coloring
- child-safe knife (optional)
- small bowl or jar of water (a clear bowl or glass is best)
- a straw
- a few fresh leaves
- magnifying glass (optional)
- laminator + laminator sheets (optional, but recommended for repeating lessons)
- dry erase markers (if laminating)
- colored thin markers or pens
- 12 x 18 construction paper
- mathematical compass
- mammoth sunflower seeds
- plastic cups
- spray bottle
- small flower pots
What to do:
We recommend doing the below lessons in this order to build on each skill your child will develop, but don’t feel that you *need* to do them in this order. Do what works for you and your child. If they love an activity, feel free to repeat! Not a winner? Skip and try the next thing. Have fun!
New to our phonics guide? Start here. The Phonics Guide this week will highlight the AI phonogram. Words like “rain” and “snail” have AI in the middle to make the long /ā/ sound. You will have an opportunity to practice reading words with this phonogram during the phonics game in Lesson 2, Activity 4.
To start the week, let’s read What’s Inside a Flower? You can either read the entire book or meet your child where they are in their attention span.
Activity 1: What better way to start off flowers week then by making your own arrangement to enjoy all week long? Here’s a brief video on how your child can create their own bouquet.
Activity 2: The best way to learn the parts of a flower is to hold one in your hand and dissect it. Use this video as your guide. Have a flower (preferably a lily or daffodil) for your child to dissect along with the educator in the video. (If you are working with more than one child, we suggest that each child have their own flower!) Download and print this lab sheet for your child to use as they identify each part.
(+) Once your child is familiar with all the parts of the flower, you can also print this labeling diagram for a copywork upgrade.
Activity 3: Reinforce the dissection (and also identify the stem, leaves, and roots) with this felt activity. Cut out the pieces in advance and have your child build the flower and identify the parts as they do. The blogger doesn’t include the pistil and stamens, but you should add those in, too.
Activity 4: We’ve been doing a lot of heavy mental work! Let’s get up and move a bit with this flower gross motor activity.
Today, we’ll examine the parts of the flower and the important job each part does.
Activity 1: Let’s start from the ground up—with roots! The roots and stem are both key parts of the flower that collect water and nutrients and carry it to the rest of the plant. Review the pages in What’s Inside a Flower? about the roots and stem. You can also read pages 8 and 9 of The Big Book of Blooms. Next, let’s demonstrate how the stem acts like a straw with this colorful experiment. Note: You’ll set up this experiment today, but it will take a few days to see full results.
Activity 2: The flower’s leaves have the very important job of making food for the plant (and, as a by-product, they make something important for us, too!). They do this through photosynthesis, the process where plants use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to produce glucose, or sugar. You can review this process in the What’s Inside a Flower? book on pages 15 and 16. Next, show how the leaf’s chloroplasts make food with this blogger’s demonstration. You can also show your child how leaves respire with this simple experiment.
Activity 3: Let’s “grow” some flowers of our own with this number bonds activity. If this is a new concept for your child, start with the 1-10 bonds and then work up to 20. Do as many blooms as your child is interested in completing for now!
Activity 4: Let’s work on some sight words with this Flower Sight Word Game! Start by printing and laminating these pages. You may want to print onto cardstock for more durability. (If you are playing with more than two children, print more point garden collection cards on page 3.) Cut out the garden collection cards and the flowers on page 4. Next, tape the two pieces of the game board together to make a circle, like this:
Use a dry erase marker to write sight words that your child is working on on the flowers on the game board. You can find some ideas here, and be sure to review them before playing. (Don’t let that list stress you out! These are just ideas.) Next, use a die and any playing pieces you want to help your child work their way around the board. Whenever they get a sight word correct, they collect a flower piece to plant in their “garden.” The game ends when they are tired of playing or when they have read them all!
The most important job of a flower is to make seeds. They do this through a process called pollination, which we will learn more about in our upcoming Insect + Spiders Units and Butterflies + Migration Units. For now, let’s learn about some different flowers by reading through The Big Book of Blooms. Read through as much of the book as your child is interested in reading.
Activity 1: Pages 36 and 37 of our book talk about flower vines. Review the fun facts with your child, and then let vines inspire a little writing readiness with this printable activity. Give your child a green colored pencil and encourage them to trace each line, and then they can color in the flower at the top.
Activity 2: Another interesting flower we read about in The Big Book of Blooms is the cactus flower. Many people don’t think of cacti as being flowering plants, but they wouldn’t be able to make seeds without their blooms! Let’s read The Night Flower to learn about an amazing desert flower with a very long life cycle.
After reading, watch this time-lapse video of a real saguaro flower blooming. This video also shares some more information about the flowers of cacti. Finally, let’s make our own saguaro handprint craft!
Start by using green paint to have your child make a handprint on a piece of cardstock. (You can also let them paint the desert background, if desired!) Using their finger tip or a Q-tip, have them add “flowers” to their cactus. Once the paint is dry, use a thin black marker to add the cactus spines. If your child has sensor issues with paint, using a paint brush is fine!
Activity 3: Let’s review telling time with this flower powered activity.
Did you know flowers have even been connected to some major mathematical discoveries? It’s true! In our Spring Unit, we briefly learned about famous mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci. Not only was he inspired by rabbits, but he was also fascinated by flowers, shells, and other natural elements. Learn more about him in Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci. Next, watch this video to learn more about Fibonacci.
Activity 1: Let’s bring Fibonacci’s work to life with this Fibonacci flower craft. We recommend you precut the circles before starting the lesson. Ask your child to measure each circle before building the flower. You can also explain the Fibonacci pattern briefly by doing simple addition on a white board.
Activity 2: A flower that perfectly illustrates Fibonacci’s swirl in nature is the sunflower. Sunflowers also inspired the word of another man, artist Vincent Van Gogh. Click here to watch a brief video about Vincent Van Gogh. Next, let’s look at one of the most famous flower paintings, “Sunflowers.”
The really amazing thing about this painting is that Vincent Van Gogh painted the whole thing in various shades of yellow—’and nothing else.’ He wanted to show the amount of depth an artist could put into a painting with just variations of a single color. In color theory, mixing a paint color with white (to make it lighter) is called a tint. Mixing a color with black (to make it darker) is called a shade. A tone is when an artist adds gray to a color to make it more muted. Let’s explore this idea with our own flower painting! Using “Sunflowers” as inspiration, have your child paint their own flower painting using just one color as the base and creating tints, shades, and tones of the color.
Activity 3: From seed to sunflower activity. Print out page 18 from that printout. Show your child the process of what you’re about to do as you prepare to do the real thing together. This project can be observed over several days and weeks.
We’d love to see your sunflowers in the coming weeks if you replant them in a pot or the ground! If you post them, please tag us @learnandliveletter on Instagram!
Activity 1: Let’s practice literacy with this flower phonogram printable. We have provided you with two ready to use pages with phonograms Fl and S. You also have a blank flower to work on any phonogram you would like. Print out all the sheets in the download (and laminate for future use). You can use this activity in a few different ways.
Option 1: Cut out the peddles with the words written on them. Say each word and ask your child paste them to the flower with correct beginning phonogram in the center. They can also practice reading the words on the peddles of both flowers.
Option 2: Practice writing skills. Give your child the blank flower sheet with the empty peddles to write on. They can copy the words printed on the flowers with words. This activity will serve as copywork.
Option 3: Have a scavenger hunt. Ask your child to search the home for words that start with a specific phonogram. (+)Practice spelling by writing the items they found.
Activity 2: Before your flowers from the week start to wilt too much, let’s preserve them with a beautiful suncatcher craft. Start by picking off blooms and flowers that you want to display. (You could even add additional flowers that you might find outside!) Next, have your child arrange them inside of a laminating pocket as desired. When they are happy with the design, close the pocket and seal it in your laminator. Cut out a circle from the sealed pocket (or whatever shape your child wants), like this:
Use tape or string and a hole punch to hang it in your window to enjoy fresh blooms for weeks!
Activity 3: Flower pot wind chime.
Activity 4: Finally, let’s end the week with some Tea + Poetry! First, bake these edible flower shortbread cookies. If you purchased Sing a Song of Seasons, choose from any of the many poems about flowers in this book. If not, you can find some other flower poems to read together here.
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