There Was a Tree

Story time is back again this week, and our theme was flowers, plants, and trees!

We started with a rhyme called “Five Little Flowers” from the KCLS Wiki:

One little flower growing just for you. 
(hold up 1 finger)

Up came another and then there were two.
(hold up 2 fingers)

Two little flowers growing near a tree.

Up came another and then there were three.
(hold up 3 fingers)

Three little flowers growing more and more.
(move hand up)

Up came another and then there were four
(hold up 4 fingers)

Four little flowers growing side by side.

Up came another and then there were five. 

I really liked that this rhyme counted up instead of down like a lot of similarly structured rhymes. It added some variety and we were left with five flowers at the end instead of none at all!

After our rhyme, we read our first story, Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson. This book is similar to Hervé Tullet’s brilliant Press HereTap the Magic Tree asks readers to perform certain actions (tap, knock, etc.) that make the tree transform before their eyes. The book takes the magic tree through the seasons, from green leaves in the spring to a bare trunk dripping with icicles in the winter. It’s a great book with a lot of opportunities for reader interaction. When I read it, I walked around and let each kid tap the trunk to make leaves appear on the next page.

After our first book, we played with our animal dice. One die has numbers on it, and the other has the following actions:

  1. WIGGLE like a WORM!
  2. FLY like a BIRD!
  3. HOP like a FROG!
  4. SWIM like a FISH!
  5. JUMP like a BUNNY!
  6. STRETCH like a CAT!

After the dice, we danced to two songs, “Freeze Dance” by the Fresh Beats Band and “Silly Dance Contest” by Jim Gill.

Our second book was There Was a Tree by Rachel Isadora. This story is based on a classic song of the same name. I was unfamiliar with the song, so I looked it up on YouTube to give me an idea of how it goes. I found a rendition by Barney that was helpful.

Isadora sets the song in Africa, and there are beautiful, vividly colored mixed media illustrations of trees, plants, and wild animals. The song builds on itself, with each verse describing one more thing in, on, or around the tree. Each verse ends with the repeated line “And the green grass grew all around, all around, the green grass grew all around.” When I read it, I slowed down for this part and let the kids say it with me.

We finished up with a fun and simple flower craft. I gave each kid a flower pot to color, then I gave them green paper to make stems and let them choose colored or patterned paper to make flowers. The flower pot picture I used can be found here. I forgot to snap a picture of a finished flower, but they were all beautiful!

Next week is all about insects, bugs, and other things that creep and crawl!

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