How does your garden grow? In this lesson, students will practice listening comprehension, vocabulary, and story sequencing. This hands-on art and literacy lesson is perfect for Earth Day, or any nature unit.
Students will strengthen listening skills, practice story sequencing, and use art to express their perspective of a flower garden.
Introduction (15 minutes)
- Begin the lesson by introducing your class to the story Flower Garden.
- Activate prior knowledge by showing the class the book cover and asking questions. Good examples include: What do you think this story is about? What clues inform your guess? What is a garden?
- Show each of the props or images. Ask the class if anyone can tell you what each object is. This quick vocabulary lesson will help students stay engaged while the story is read.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (30 minutes)
- Read the story to the class.
- Use each of the props or images as the story is being read. When the prop appears in the text, show it to the class. This will help students connect what they know with what they've read, an important building block for listening comprehension skills.
- Encourage students to ask questions if they don't understand any events in the story.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)
- Discuss the story as a class. Ask your students open-ended questions to gauge their understanding of Flower Garden. Great example questions include: Why does the girl in the story want to make a garden? What type of garden does she make?
- Go over the sequence of the story. Ask your students: What happens in the beginning of the story? In the middle? At the end?
- Record these three events in sequential order, either on the whiteboard or on large butcher paper. This gives students the chance to visualize the progression of the story.
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- Pass out a sheet of art paper to each student.
- Ask the class to create their own flower gardens on the paper, using water colors, colored pencils, crayons, or any other art supplies you have in the classroom.
- If you have extra time, give each student three sheets of paper. Have students label the sheets Beginning, Middle, and End, and encourage them to create a story around their garden.
- Support: Have students who need extra support work with a partner or small group to create a sequential story about their gardens.
- Enrichment: Students who need more of a challenge should write captions about their drawing and stories.
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Have the students share their garden drawings and story sequences to the class.
- Encourage listeners to ask questions about the presenter's garden, to inspire storytelling techniques.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Ask the students comprehension questions about the text. Great examples include: What is this book about? What do you think the garden represents in this book? Did Mom expect the flower garden, or was she surprised? How do you know?
- To enrich the lesson, you can discuss the science behind the life cycle of a flower.