Sunflowers in the Classroom

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 In my opinion, The Sunflower House is a classic.  We read this book in my kindergarten classroom and the kids were thrilled with the treasures I brought in for them to explore.  I grabbed a few sunflowers from my cousin’s farm, when I was over there, and dried them in my garage for a few weeks.  My cousin is a farmer in Eastern Washington  and was able to grow sunflowers this year.
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I love setting up simple invitations for my kids to explore.  Just by setting out a few sunflowers, some dried sunflower heads, a magnifying glass, a few books, and maybe a few jars of water, the questions start flying.  Sometimes these questions can turn into full-blown inquiry studies and other times it is just a chance to explore.  This time, the kids explored and we investigated a few of their questions, but the interested faded as quickly as the petals fell off.  This time, we wrapped things up and we were ready to move on.
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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 time for inquiry, and a chance to bring science into the classroom at the beginning of kindergarten.
Happy exploring!

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