Flower Garden, Eve Bunting

           This is a wonderful book about spring and a little girls gift to her mother.  It is inspiration to those who live in the city and a reminder of the joy that plants bring to people everywhere.


  • Silk flowers (these can often be gotten at craft stores for a few dollars. If they do not have stems, cut pipe cleaners into 6-8 inch pieces and attach to the silk flower heads.)
  • Petal Power game
  • Gardening catalogs or spring fliers from local garden stores
  • At least one real flowering plant


  • Trowel ( a shovel for planting flowers or vegetables)
  • Jamboree ( a celebration, in the story it is a celebration of colors!)

Before reading the Story

            Show the children the cover of the book.  Ask them if they have ever helped plant a garden before?  Where do you get the plants?  What did you have to do to make the garden? What do you have to do to take care of the garden?  If you live in the city, this might be more difficult for the children to answer.  In that case, talk about if they have ever seen a flower garden?  Did you like it?  What did you like/not like about it?  Where did you see the garden?

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Reading the Story

           As you read the story, ask who, what, where, when, and why questions.  (Where are the girl and her father going with the flowers, what are they going to do? Why are they lighting candles?  Whose birthday do you think it is? What time of year is this story taking place?)

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate informations, experiences, ideas, feelingsw, opinions, needs, questions,; and for other varied purposes.

After Reading the Story

            Talk about the sequence of the story.  Where did the story start? (In the store), then where did they go? (On the bus).  Where does this story take place? (in the city).  Where did the girl live? (High in the building).  Who was the last one to come home?  What special day was it?  Does anyone know when their special birth date is?

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.


           Put the real flower/s into the center today.  Encourage the children to uses their senses to tell you about the flower.  Let the children take it out of the container so they can see the roots.  Talk about what a plant needs to live and grow (water, dirt, air, and sunshine). Encourage them to draw the plant showing the various parts, including the roots.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Music and Movement

           Sing or chant, Dig a Little Hole

You dig a little hole Pretend to dig a hole

And you put the seed in. Drop a pretend seed into the hole

And you cover it with dirt, Use hands to cover pretend hole

And let the sun shine in. Arms over head to make a circle

You give a little water Wiggle fingers over hole to make rain

And keep it fed,

Pretty soon a little plant will show its head. Bring one hand up through the other

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

            Go through the motions of making a birthday cake with the children and then sing Happy Birthday.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems. AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; chooses to participate in an increasing variety of tasks and activities.


            In the story, the girl and her father planted the flowers in a window box.  Encourage the children to build a long window box out of blocks.  If you have enough silk flowers/plants, you could add these to the block center today.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; demonstrates increasing ability to set goals and develop and follow through on them.


            Give each child a piece of brown paper and tell them to pretend that this is their window box.  Put out gardening catalogs and let the children cut and glue what their window box would look like.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Library and Writing

            Encourage the children to make cards for family members, friends, or a staff person.  Show them how to fold the paper in half.  Encourage them to draw a lovely flower design on the front.  Open it up and you can help them write a message or they can write/scribble their own message.  Make sure they sign the card.

Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes. AND Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from using scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.

Sand and Water

            Add dirt to the table along with several garden trowels or shovels.  Add silk plants, or real plants for the children to pretend to plant.  Bring in several containers that the children can use for the garden box.

Creative Arts/ Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Dramatic Play

            Add silk flowers and a plastic vase ( a water bottle works) so the children can arrange some cut flowers for the table or counter.

Math and Manipulatives

           Play Petal Power.  Give each child a potted plant from the resource page.  Cut out a quantity of petals in various colors and place in the center of the table.  Take turns rolling the dice.  The child counts the number on the dice and takes that many petals from the pile and places on her circle.  Play until all the petals are used up. Use glue sticks as you play to make your pots part of a wall display afterwards.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects. AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Outdoor Play

            Look for signs of nature growing around your playground.  Help the children to name the plants that they see.  That is a Loblolly Pine, that is a Dandelion, that is Oregano.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.


            Show the children the page where the Mother sees her garden.  Ask the children if the Mother liked her present?  Ask the children what they would like to get their Mother for her birthday?

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops an increasing ability to find more that one solution to a question, task, or problem.

About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.