Lynn Handshy
Apple This is Lynn Handshy. Lynn teaches first grade at Tularcitos Elementary School in Carmel Valley, California. She has written about the major activities and projects of her classroom. We feature those projects here on Leslie's website.

"Flowers and Mom"

By Lynn Handshy

While we studied plants and seeds last month, we planned ahead for Mother's day. Tiny marigold plants are growing bigger and stronger in decorated pots waiting to be given to moms on the 11th of May. But alas, they are several months away from producing flowers. What to do? And, there are those suffix lessons to be taught. Ta dah! We made flowers, described mothers with "er" words, and then put the flowers into the pots along with the bud-less plants.

Here's how we did it:

1. Each child wrote four words that described his/her mother. (Brooke wrote: gardener, sewer, lawyer and snuggler)

2. On a 1"- inch white construction paper circle they drew a picture of their mother's face.

3. With brightly colored pipe cleaners they formed a five-petal flower with an outside dimension of approximately six inches. They used a dark color on the outside and a lighter inside. Each child needed two pipe cleaners of each color plus two green twisted
together for the stem. The portrait of mom was glued onto the center of the flower

4. The children cut 4 green construction paper leaves about 2 inches long. On each leaf they wrote one of their "er" descriptive words in black pen and glued them along the stem.

When stuck into the pots the flowers adorned plants beautifully AND the children understood how to add a suffix onto a simple word. A mother who tends a garden is a gardener.

This is an especially effective way for all those tactile/kinesthetic learners in your class to acquire grammatical concepts that don't always make sense to them on worksheets.

Hope this helps you have a happier and brighter May.