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Big & Small Gardens

Big and small colorful circles become flowers and seeds in a colorful garden.

  • Kindergarten
    Pre-Kindergarten
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Introduce the idea of a garden by reading "Counting in the Garden" by Kim Parker, or a similar book. Discuss the shapes of the flowers observed in the artwork. Ask students to talk about how gardens grow. If possible, show seeds and actual potted flowers, or visit the school garden.
    2. Demonstrate how to paint lines, ovals, and circles to create outlnes of flowers, stems, petals, leaves, and seeds for their garden picture. Model how to put paint on just the tip of the paintbrush and reload when the painted line looks too faint.
    3. Prepare the work space by covering desks and tables with recycled newspaper. Distribute paper plates, or spill-proof cups, with black Crayola washable kids' paint.
    4. Ask students to paint the outlines of the shapes in a variety of sizes on the white drawing paper or light-colored construction paper and allow the papers to dry.
    5. During the next session, model how to fill in the outlined shapes. To minimize the need for rinsing brushes, provide each table or group of students with a different color of washable kids' paint in a cup or tray. Switch colors, along with paintbrushes, between groups periodically so everyone gets a chance to use different colors.
    6. Let students share their dry paintings with their classmates, counting and sharing the number of flowers they've painted. Challenge students to find someone who painted more, or less, flowers in their garden painting.
    7. Send the paintings home and let students ask their families to count the flowers in the garden with them.
  • Standards

    MATH: Count to answer "how many?" questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects.

    MATH: Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.

    SCI: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

    VA: Distinguish between images and real objects.

    VA: Explore the world using descriptive and expressive words and art-making.

  • Adaptations

    Display the flower paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe near the painting center or easel. Set up artificial flowers in a vase near the easel to provide inspiration for more flower painting.

    Create an indoor class garden. Count the number of seeds sown and see if it correlates to the number of plants and flowers that bloom.

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