Zinnia’s Flower Garden (Hardcover) by Monica Wellington. Dutton Juvenile, 2005. ISBN: 9780525473688. pp: 32. Ages: 5-8, gr: k-3
Paperback (2007) Puffin, ISBN: 9780142407875

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Summary

Zinnia plants her flower garden in the spring. As summer, fall and winter approach, she has to do different things to keep her flower garden looking perfect! She keeps a diary of what is happening in her garden, how she is taking care of it and what she does about those weeds and little green bugs. As summer is ending Zinnia sells her flowers at her lemonade stand. In autumn Zinnia gathers seeds to plant the following year. A number of science and math topics are introduced in the illustrations.

Activities

Integrating prior knowledge:
Sketch- to- Stretch is a good way to help students with their imagination. Have students sketch their interpretations of the story. First read the story to them and have them sketch their thoughts on how the illustrations look onto a piece of poster paper. They can use markers, crayons and any other art supplies. Second, have them get into groups and show each other what they have drawn.
Science:
• Study the how-to page in the back of the book about growing your own flowers. Purchase some seeds and dirt from a garden center (if nearby, then take a field trip). Students can plant their own little flower garden in plastic cups.
• Discuss the parts of a flower as shown in the book. Work with a partner to make a drawing of a flower that shows these parts. Then switch with another group to label the parts.
Reading:
• Read about the Plant Life Cycle told by second-grade students.
• Create a story web. Write the word "seasons" inside the circle in the middle. Draw four small circles and label for the four seasons. Explain what happens to the flower in each of the four circles.
• If growing a plant for a science project, then make an individual visual response journal. Each student can draw in his/her journal to show what the plant looks like after certain periods of time.
Writing:
• Summarize the book in one sentence. Read and compare sentences.
• Zinnia kept a plant diary. What is a diary? What things could you record in a diary? (foods eaten, scores of games, weather, etc.)
• To the Teacher: Create a writing template for students to complete.
Title: This is how Zinnia grew a plant.
First, get the ground ready. She ____. She ____. She ____.
Second, plant the seeds. She ____. She ____. She ____.
Third, take care of the new plants. She ____. She ____. She ____.
Possible answers:
First; She dug up the soil, She took out stones. She raked the dirt smooth. Second; She planted the seeds in rows, She covered them with dirt. She patted the dirt down gently. She sprinkled them with water. Third; She watered them. She pulled the weeds. She looked for bugs. She measured how tall her strong and healthy plants were growing.
Math:
• Bring in different types of artificial flowers. Decide on a price for each kind of flower. Practice buying and selling the flowers in a flower stand. (Teacher: Introduce using the page with money equivalencies for $1.00)
• Look at garden catalogs to find the height of different flowers. Tape a large piece of paper on the wall. Measure to make a line the height of each of your flowers. Label the line to name which flower it shows.
Social studies:
• What is the state flower of your state? Why do you think it was chosen?
Art:
• Color a flower picture.
• Design and draw your own garden on a sheet of brown construction paper.
• Pick the zinnia picture that you like the best. Why did you pick it?
Music:
Sing songs about flowers and plants.
Physical education:
• Make up movement to go with "Wiggly Woo" (There’s a worm at the bottom of the garden).

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Assessment

Zinnia’s Flower Garden. Accelerated Reader: Quiz #86388 EN; Book Level 2.7; Points= 0.5

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