We love doing plant studies. We witness the plant’s life cycle every year on the farm. When we start plants from seed, we get to watch every part of the process, from birth to fruit to death. It’s important for all littles to understand all life. It’s important to understand them in order to grasp the turnings of our wondrous planet’s seasons. There are so many wonderful different ways to study plants and so many different types of plants, and there is tons of literature to enrich your studies, so here are few.
Cactus Hotel by Brenda Z. Guiberson
This gorgeously illustrated book tells of the 200-year life of a saguaro cactus, including the desert animals who both utilize the cactus and help it live. The simple text is easy to understand yet poetic and it is great for teaching about the desert, about cacti, and about symbiotic relationships. Your littles will read this one again and again.
Johnny Appleseed by Reeve Lindbergh
I picked this particular version of Johnny Appleseed because of the magnificent illustrations by Kathy Jakobsen. They remind me of the art of Pieter Bruegel, which you already know I love. The folk-artsy pictures fit perfectly with the poetic telling of the story. Johnny Appleseed, no matter which version you use, is a great story about one of America’s favorite trees and can be turned into many crafts and activities to supplement your plant study.
Oh Say Can You Seed? by Bonnie Worth
I love Cat in the Hat books. This one is no less awesome than the others. In true Dr. Seuss fashion, Ms. Worth tells your littles all about plants–how they grow, how they are used by humans, all about photosynthesis and seed dispersal. This book is Full Of Information and the poetry of it makes it fun and engaging.
No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young
This brilliant book teaches about the symbiotic relationships of the rainforests and—even better–where chocolate comes from. The two bookworms who crack jokes on every page will have your littles laughing even as they learn about the amazing plants of the rainforest, especially the cocoa tree. The cool part is it’s told kind of like “The House that Jack Built,” so your littles are building on their knowledge with each page.
Squashed by Joan Bauer
This lovely story set in rural Iowa tells of 16-year-old Ellie and her battle with weight (she’d like to lose 20 pounds and she’d like her prize pumpkin to gain about 200). If only she could lose her excess and grow her pumpkin huge by the time of the Rock River Pumpkin Weigh-In, maybe the new boy at school would like her and her life would be perfect. Ellie’s cynical attitude is great for real belly laughs and Bauer’s brilliant writing will leave your littles wanting more.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
No other book can touch this one for teaching about gardening and appreciating life. If you haven’t already read it with your littles, use your plant study as a good excuse. There is nothing more glorious than Mary’s magical friendships with Dickon and Colin, and all the wondrous lessons they learn from each other and from their garden.
On a side note, don’t forget that this week is Perseid Shower week. Get outside in the wee hours on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday morning and see up to 50 shooting stars per hour. How can that not rock?
Day One: Donkeys Day Two: Summer Day three: Water Day Four: Insects Day Five: Owls
Day Six: Bears Day Seven: Winter Day Eight: Poetry Day Nine: Squirrels & Rabbits Day Ten: Moon
Day Eleven: Autumn