The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony was our book of the week and helped us to explore the life cycle of a flower and seed dispersal. It’s a lovely book that follows the journey of one little dandelion seed that was afraid to let go. This post contains affiliate links.
We paired The Dandelion Seed with The Magic School Bus “Goes to Seed” episode where the class travels (as a ladybug) to find out how seeds are made and how they are dispersed. We then did the correlating experiment at Scholastic, “Seeds on The Move,” and went on yet another nature walk to collect seeds and test how they travel using the water, air and hitchhiker tests outlined in the experiment. The girls especially loved the hitchhiker test that involved having their stuffed elephants sit on the seeds and then checking to see if they got any seeds stuck to their butts! So much fun!!
Since we live in miombo woodland with many species of Brachystegia trees we also studied how their seeds are dispersed. As the seed pod dries it explodes and splits in two shooting the seeds out with a lot of force. You can often hear the seedpods popping. Here’s a photo of a full seedpod and one that has split and expelled its seeds.
We really enjoyed watching this dandelion life cycle animation and this time lapse dandelion (from flower to seed head) on YouTube and we colored, sequenced and pasted the dandelion cut and stick pages from Sparklebox.
The girls used their dandelion sequencing art to retell the story of The Dandelion Seed. I asked them questions like:
- What was the seed afraid of?
- What did the seed see during its travels?
- After the seed grew into a flower, what did it tell its own seed that was afraid?
Here is Boo pausing to pose for the camera as she retells the story.
Arts and Crafts:
We had a lot of fun painting dandelion seeds with q-tips onto stems we drew with markers. This project came from Artsonia. I had the girls look at the painting on the Artsonia site, explained how we would use markers and q-tips to make something similar and then let them get busy. I think they turned out really cute.
But I couldn’t expect my girls to stop with just white paint and q-tips so I had more paint, paper and a bunch of sponges ready for some unstructured painting. Boo continued with the q-tips for quite a while, Kooks dug into the sponges and then decided that fingers are really best for painting.
Songs of the Week:
We loved learning the Flowers Growing Song and the motions that go with it by Preschool Express but our favorite this week was I Like the Flowers by Beat Boppers Children’s Music – it has some really silly animations.
It was very touching to find Kooks planting seeds on her own time one afternoon. She told me that she had given her seeds everything they needed to grow and that she was going to have beautiful dandelions. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was actually planting Albizia tree seeds.
We don’t actually have dandelions here but I spent some time telling the girls about the things I used to do with dandelions when I was a little girl, I even had a cat named Dandelion when I was growing up. If we ever get to the States during the summer, I would love to make some dandelion necklaces and crowns with my girls and wish on some dandelions before blowing their seeds. I really love this art project from 5 Orange Potatoes that has kids blowing real dandelion seeds onto glue.
This year we are devoting more time to planned activities than last year. We have a routine that we go through each morning before reading our book of the week and we are doing math and music sessions that are not related to our book a week activities – I hope to write more about them soon. Boo and I are also getting more serious about working on reading.