Lesson 4: Animals Live and Grow

Day 2

Reading and Questions
Materials: Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
Ask your child what he learned about how animals survive and grow in their environment. Ask your child what he thinks plants need in order to survive and grow (water, Sun, dirt, air, and space). Ask your child if plants need food. If he says they do, ask him how how they get food since they don't have mouths and don't move a lot. Explain that plants make their own food, but in order to make food they need water, air, Sun, and the right soil.

Read Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt aloud to your child. The book is long, so you may want to read the first half and discuss the first three questions. Then take a short break, finish the book, and ask the remaining questions.
  1. What season is it on the first page in the book. How do you know?
    It's winter. There is snow on the ground, all the plants are dead, and the people are wearing coats and hats.
  2. What did the people have to wait for before they could plant their seeds? Why?
    They had to wait for the dirt to dry out and warm up. The seeds will grow best in the spring when things are starting to warm up.
  3. Why does Nana tell the boy to give the plants a drink?
    Because the plants need water in order to grow.
  4. What is "Nana's rain"?
    The garden hose she is spraying.
  5. Why does the author say "Hurry, hurry, and harvest!"?
    Because it is getting cold and the plants will die when it gets too cold. Also, the fruits and vegetables will rot if they are not harvested fast enough.
  6. Would you enjoy planting a garden? Why or why not?
    Answers will vary.
  7. In the book, how do the animals help the plants in the garden? Hint: Read about the animals at the back of the book.
    The honeybees pollinate the plants, the worms stir up the soil, skunks eat the cutworms, the robin eats bugs that can damage plants, snakes eat grasshoppers that can damage plants.

Activity 4: Plant Art

Materials: 2 carrots, 2 spinach leaves, broccoli, celery, paper towel, sunflower seeds
Ask your child if he can name the parts of a plant. Discuss that plants have leaves, stems, roots, seeds, and flowers. (Show your child a picture of a flowering plant if needed.) Explain that animals may eat one part of a plant or multiple parts of a plant.

Put the following plant parts on the table: broccoli florets, celery, two carrots (preferably with the green tops cut off), sunflower seeds, and two spinach leaves. Ask your child what all of these plants have in common. You can eat them!

Ask your child to hand you the plant that is a seed (sunflower seeds), the leaf (spinach), root (carrot), flower (broccoli florets), and the stem (celery).

Lay a paper towel in front of him and ask him to make a plant by arranging the foods according to what part of the plant they are. Give him some time to experiment with different designs. The celery will be the stem, the spinach the leaves, the carrots will be the roots beneath the stem, the broccoli will be the flower on top of the stem, and the seeds can go in the middle of the broccoli florets.
Plant Art

Activity 5: Plants Can...

For this creative thinking activity, your student will think of everything plants can..., plants are..., and plants have.... On the "Plants" page, ask your child to finish the first statement with as many ideas as he can think of.

Plants can...

Repeat with the next two statements:

Plants are...
Plants have...

Record your child's answers. Encourage him to think about everything he has learned about plants in this lesson. He can look through his books and his activity pages to get ideas.