Spring Unit

Spring is one of the four seasons. The transition from winter to spring makes us think of the earth waking up and getting busy. The sun shines longer each day, trees and flowers bloom, gardens are planted, baby animals are born and bugs come out from the ground. Let’s welcome spring with some of our favorite books and hopefully a visit to a local garden or farm. Don’t forget to download our printable tracker to keep a record of the books you read and the skills you work on this week!

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):

Supplies (use what you have, but here are links to shop if you need anything):

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!

Lesson 1:

Start the week by reading The Reason for the Seasons to learn why we have seasons. This is also a great time to make connections to everything we learned in the Outer Space Unit and also connects to the Light, Shadows + Rainbows Unit. (Can’t get the book? Visit this site for lesson details and a video.)

Pro tip: This book has a lot of information that might go over your child’s head. Depending on their age and interest level, they might not want to sit for the whole thing. That’s ok! If they seem to be losing interest in the text, just focus on the pictures and get them right to the point: We have seasons because the earth has a tilt. Remember, you are just building a foundation and they will come back to this several times over the next few years.

Activity 1: This four seasons printable is a great way to visually review the four seasons. Look for the link that says: “Download Printable Seasons Activity for Kids”.  Have your child color in the pictures and then build it. 

Activity 2: What is commonly seen in spring? Flowers! Let’s play this spring movement flowers game to practice literacy while getting everyone moving. (Psst…that blog post doesn’t have a printable for the flowers, so we made one here to make your life a little easier.)

Activity 3: Spring trees are one of the most beautiful parts of spring. Try this craft as we learn about the cherry blossom trees at the U.S. capital. (See more pictures here!) There are many places that feature cherry blossoms, so check your local area and try to visit any local to you this week—they are likely in full bloom. (Or check for virtual tours as well!)

Lesson 2:

Begin by Reading From Seed to Plant to learn about the plant cycle. This will have some crossover from our Flowers Unit so it will be a good time to review what your child already knows. If they feel really confident, ask them to be the “teacher” and tell you everything they remember.

Activity 1: Today, we want to reinforce the life cycle of a plant from seed to flower using this printable. But we are going to use this worksheet a little differently than it was intended. We are going to use it to work on two skills, sequencing and narration. (Read this blog about why this important skill that your child naturally already has needs to be reinforced and practiced to increase literacy and writing abilities.) Here’s how to do it:

  1. Color and cut the four stages.
  2. Demonstrate sequencing. For example, you could point to each picture and say, “If I had to describe this picture I would say, ‘First, the seed is planted. Next, the seed sprouts.Then the sprout becomes a plant. At last, the plant grew a flower.'” Model using the phrases: first, next, then, and last to show sequencing. 
  3. Next, try these suggestions for practicing narration:
    • Have your child tell you about each stage as they paste the stages in a circle to show a cycle.
    • Have your child tell you the stages and you write (scribe) what they say. Help them to create a complete sentence for each stage. Praise their use of descriptive words.

(+) Is your child ready for copy work? Have them copy your sentences using Montissori letter tiles or some other letter manipulatives.
(++) If your child is ready to create their own sentences, have them copy your sentences or write their own. Don’t worry about correcting their spelling—this is not a spelling activity. The purpose of this activity is to reinforce their ability to narrate.

Pro Tip: Your child is transitioning from spoken to written language. This is a huge leap when it is finally complete! In the meantime, this transition takes time, so it’s ok that it is slow. Encourage your child to use their spoken language, and demonstrate the transfer to written language by scribing their words. When it’s their turn to write, allow them to work at their own pace. If they aren’t able to complete all four sentences, praise the work they did do and move on. Writing is a difficult task for little hands. As they build their hand strength and their confidence, the writing will come more naturally. And remember: You are doing a great job! You are your child’s cheerleader, and we are yours!

Activity 2: Let’s grow something this week! Print, cut, color, and review this printable about germination with your child. Next, set up this simple bean planting activity. It will need to be kept up all week, but beans grow so quickly you will have something to see before the week is up. Reinforce the need for watering but not drenching our bean. Talk about how moderation is needed. Too much water and the bean will rot; too little and it won’t sprout at all.
(+) Use the plant observation printout in this post to help track the progress of your beans in the coming days and weeks.

Activity 3: Raindrop math. Laminate the printable if possible so that you can use it all week long and beyond. The blogger demonstrates with foam dice and rain drop counters in the post, but you can use and dice and counters to make this activity work.

Lesson 3:

Begin by reading We Are The Gardners. This book helps teach important lessons in gardening but also about determination. Talk about the message of not giving up even when things fail or get difficult. This would also be a great day to visit a local farm or vegetable garden space. (Most of today’s activities will be more meaningful after visiting animals in person.) Let’s learn more about what we would find in a small farm today.

Activity 1: Baby farm animals are born in the spring. Use this activity to learn the names of baby animals and match the babies to their moms and dads. If you get to see these animals in real life, then use this later as a review. 
(+) Use the names of the animals as spelling words. Use Montessori movable letters or your rock letters to spell out the words.

Activity 2: Learn all about raising chickens in a farm by interviewing someone in your area who raises them. Here’s a list of questions you can ask them:

  • Where do chickens sleep? 
  • What do they eat?
  • Is it a lot of work to raise chickens?
  • Are they messy?
  • How many eggs do your chickens lay each day?

Can’t make it out to a real chicken coop? We toured a farm near us to learn more about how to take care of chickens—watch the video here!

Now let’s make our own shoebox chicken coop. Click here for the tutorial!

Activity 3: One common springtime activity is the shearing of sheep’s wool. Why must sheep be sheared? Learn the answer here and retell the story to your child in your own words. Next, do this fun sheep shearing activity. The tutorial is a video, so here is a still photo of the sheep template to copy:

(+) Want to expand this lesson? Pull out a map and find New Zealand and share details about the Golden Shears competition. It is considered the most renowned shearing contest in the world and it has even been called “the Wimbledon of shearing.”

Activity 4: Farm sensory bin. Create this free play area with as many of your own items as you already have at home. You can use shredded paper instead of straw for the base. Do you have corn kernels left over from our Five Senses Unit ? Use that for your feed. There are farm animal figurine toys you can buy, but you might have alternatives at home. You can use puzzle pieces, toys, pieces from other games, or these printouts that can be laminated. If you have play vegetables, you can add those, too.

Next, bring your sensory bin to life! Make a mud pile for the pigs, a water bath for the ducks, and a barn for the cows. Bring in grass or leaves to add some natural elements to your bin. Other items can include: farm tractor, farmers, buckets, or any other items that can act as gardening tools. Finally, play this song for some extra inspiration while they play.

Lesson 4:

Start today by reading Are You a Ladybug? This insect is a popular spring bug that is very helpful to plants because they eat smaller bugs like aphids that eat the leaves of plants.

Activity 1: Ladybug name hat. Let’s practice name writing while we build a fun headpiece. If your child hasn’t practiced this lately, be sure to have their name spelled out for them on a sheet of paper so that there is a clear model for them to copy. (You can cut strips of red cardstock or construction paper and decorate with black spots to make the hat band, and we made a printable for the eyes here.)

Activity 2: Ladybug life cycle craft.

Activity 3: This ladybug game board can be used to practice sight words, letter sounds, or any other letter learning you are currently working on. You will need a stack of sight words or letters in addition to the print-out. You could use ladybug magnets like the blogger, or you can create your own ladybug moving piece by printing out an extra sheet of the last page. Cut out the ladybugs and tape them onto a moving piece from another game (like a checkers piece).

Activity 4: This printout can be used as a craft and as copy work.
(-) Not ready for copywork? Try using rock letters from previous lessons or other letter manipulatives to build the word “ladybug.”

Lesson 5:

Get ready for some spring art, music, and cooking!

Activity 1: Let’s get moving and dancing with this spring song. Stand up to sing and move together!

Activity 2: Many artists are very inspired by the outdoors. Sarah Hansen is one of these artists. She is an avid outdoors woman and hiker. Take a look at this piece from her website. It’s called “Walks Among Wildflowers.” Why do you think she called her picture by that name? Can you find any flowers in this picture? What colors do you see in this picture? Can you find the shapes in this picture? What do you think the dark part is in the background (the top)? 

Now, are you feeling inspired?  Let’s do some outdoor spring crafting today.

Activity 3: Spring has inspired us in so many ways this week. Let’s celebrate all that we learned with a Dirt Cup Dessert. This recipe includes “worms,” so you can refer back to the Gardeners book to talk about the importance of healthy soil when planting vegetables.

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