• The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss (HarperCollins, 1989; $5.99)
• carrot seeds
• empty milk containers (pint size or quarts cut in half)
• bunch of fresh carrots (unwashed and with carrot tops intact)
• chart paper and marker
• small watering can
Show children the book The Carrot Seed and ask them to predict what they think the story will be about. Record their predictions. Now read the story. Compare their predictions with the book.
Reread the book the following day so that children have an opportunity to become more familiar with the story and the concept of the book. Engage them in a discussion about the book and list the sequence of the story.
Next show children a bunch of fresh carrots. Pass the carrots around so everyone has an opportunity to hold and examine them. Ask the group to share what they already know about carrots. Ask them why there is dirt on the carrots. Refer to the book so that children will understand that the carrot is the root of the plant. Ask them to show you the part of the carrot that would be above the ground.
Explain that everyone will have an opportunity to plant his or her very own carrot seed. In a small group, give each child a clean milk carton. Help children scoop soil into their cartons, and then add a few carrot seeds, more soil, and some water. Place their planters in a sunny section of the room. Schedule time each day for children to water, observe, and record information as their plants begin to emerge.
Remember: Bilingual children may use the vocabulary of their home language to refer to the fruits and vegetables you show them. You may need to give them the words in English so that they can build their vocabulary.
Carrot Recipe. Send home this tasty and healthy recipe for parents and
children to make together: Mix shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, and plain yogurt together in a bowl and serve. This recipe can also be made with cottage cheese instead of yogurt.
Curriculum Connection: Science
Root Vegetables. Bring in a variety of root vegetables for children to observe, including beets, scallions, leeks, turnips, or rutabagas. Plan time to cook the vegetables so that children can taste them.
How Groundhog’s Garden Grew
by Lynne Cherry
(Blue Sky Press, 2003; $15.95)
Spot’s Little Book of Fun: In the Garden
by Eric Hill (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003; $5.99)
by Douglas Florian
(Voyager Books, 1996; $6)