Collecting Sunflower Seeds

Have you read the Sunflower House?  In my opinion, it’s a classic.  Well, we read the book yesterday in Kindergarten and the kids were thrilled with the treasures I brought in for them to explore.  Last week I asked parents in my class if they would be willing to donate a few sunflowers.  They came through in a big way, and kids had a ton of sunflowers to use for drawing, exploration, and observing.  The only problem was that the seeds in those store-bought sunflowers are tiny.  You can hardly see them!
I needed home-grown sunflowers, but I didn’t grow any sunflowers in my garden this year. The squirrels ate ALL of the seeds I planted.  I took to Facebook for a little help.  I put out a request for sunflowers to any of my neighbors, on our neighborhood Facebook page.  A nice lady, who I had never met before, responded that she was heading to Eastern Washington and would be able to get a few for me.  I picked up the bag of dead flowers from her porch – my kids thought I was crazy for wanting dead flowers.  I explained that I didn’t want them for the flowers, but for the seeds!
After reading The Sunflower House, in Kindergarten, we went outside to explore the sunflowers.  I showed the kids how to pull the florets off and they were thrilled to find the treasure underneath.  There were several different types of sunflowers in the bag, so kids were able to see a variety of seeds.  
In the book, the kids stuff their pockets with seeds, so I told the class that they should do the same.  One little girl said, “If I stuff another sunflower seed in my pocket, my pants might fall down!  I might need a baggie.”
They even used their Center Time to continue exploring!  We left lots of seeds outside for the birds, planted some in the ground “just in case” they might grow, and sent lots home with the kids.  It was a great book, great lesson, and I’m SUPER thankful for fabulous parents and neighbors for sharing sunflowers with us.
Happy exploring!

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