By Shannon Weaver
When Hazel added that phrase in conversation to our provocation, it was a ta-dah moment!
All the children in the small group nodded, Jonathan added, “It’s called a life cycle.”
Once again, “YES!”
This fall, when the children returned to school, our sunflower plants had finished growing. The yellow petals had fallen to the ground, the big green leaves had dried, becoming crunchy and brown, and the long stalks were leaning forward. After examination, we decided it was time to cut down the sunflower stocks.
One warm afternoon, I gathered with a small group of the K class under the olive tree, and we read a favorite book of mine, Sunflower House by Eve Bunting. The story tells of a beautiful house built of sunflowers; the walls built by the stalks and the roof created by the flowers and the yellow petals. The story spans seasons and shares the end of the summer resulting in the sunflower house. The characters in the story feel sad the sunflower house they enjoyed all summer has fallen, but after time realize if the collect the seeds, they can plant the seeds in spring and grow another house.
“There’s still the puffy middle part that’s filled with seeds enough to start another sunflower house next spring, with walls, a roof, and everything.
It’s neat to think with somethings gone a part of it goes on and on. It’s such a super-duper plan! We pick out all the seeds we can.”– Eve Bunting
This book inspired our K class to do the same!
The children picked out the dried sunflower seeds from the sunflower heads. The children practiced their literacy skills by labeling the pouch with words to remind them what season to plant the seeds. They included words or drawings to remind them what is inside the pouch. The children bravely used “fearless spelling” to create the labels. They supported each other in letter and sound recognition. It will be wonderful to pull out the seed pouches in spring and have written evidence of how much they have grown and how much they have learned!