Spring Unit
We study all about spring,
eggs/oviparous animals, and plants
during this unit.
Journal Topics:
*What do plants need to grow?
*What kind of garden would you like to tend?
*Draw a plant and label its parts.
*Which plants are yummy?   Which plants are/would be yucky?
*Draw an egg with a tiny crack.  Write about the animal inside, trying to hatch
out.  What is it thinking?  How is it feeling?
*Now draw yesterday's animal hatching!  What is it thinking now?  Use speech
bubbles to express what it's "saying."
*Draw 2-3 stages of a chick's development in the egg.  (We do this after
candling our eggs over a period of 10 days.)
*In the spring...
Shared Reading
Chickens by Diane Snowball
What Hatches From an Egg?
by Norma L. Gentner
Focus Poetry
"Peck, Peck, Peck"
Center Ideas:
art: paint a flower, then use computer labels to identify the parts, use liquid
starch and colored tissue paper squares to decorate egg shapes

fine motor: perforate a flower shape, trace an Easter egg and use a variety of
lines (bumpy, broken, looping, wavy, zigzag, straight) to decorate it, flower
scribble art, chick scribble art

ABC: sort plastic letters into letters found in the word "spring" and letters not
found in the word "spring,"  use yellow crayon to highlight those letters (found
in "spring") in the newspaper

writing: "Plants need...."   "What hatches from an egg?"  "In the spring, I..."

science: observe chicken eggs in the incubator for changes, reading chicken
manuals depicting the chicks' developmental stages  
How a Seed Grows   by Helene J. Jordan
The Carrot Seed   by Ruth Krauss
From Seed To Plant    by Gail Gibbons
A Seed Grows   by Pamela Hickman
One Bean   by Anne Rockwell
Eating the Alphabet   by Lois Ehlert
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
The Tiny Seed   by Eric Carle

*After reading one or all of these books, we brainstorm and list all the
plants we can think of, sorting them into edible plants and non-edible
plants.  Students will complete their own
Plants! booklet: page 1- A
(carrot) is a plant.  It is (edible).  We can (eat) it.
 page 2- A
(banana) is a plant.  It is (edible).  We can (eat) it.
 page 3- A
(potato) is a plant.  It is (edible).  We can (eat) it.
 page 4- A
(tree) is a plant.  It is (non-edible).  We can (climb) it.

Students will fill in the blanks and illustrate each page using their own
drawings, magazine pictures, or clip art.

Planting a Rainbow   by Lois Ehlert
*After reading this great Ehlert book, students are given their own
"rainbow" books (1/4 size strips of colored paper stapled into a
booklet- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).  Next, we go
through magazines (first as a class, then independently) searching
for pictures of plants and flowers.  Students share their findings with
the entire class.  We discuss on which page (red, blue, orange, etc.)
the flower would go.  We search some more, then they go to their
tables to finish independently.  Students will search for flowers, cut
them out, glue them on the appropriate color page, then write about
the flowers on each page. They love to read each others' books
because they're always different!

Jack's Garden   by Henry Cole
Flower Garden   by Eve Bunting
The Reason For a Flower   by Ruth Heller
*After reading any of these books, we discuss all sorts of "parts"  
(parts of a car, parts of our bodies, parts of a tree, parts of a chair,
etc.).   Using the overhead projector or the chalkboard, we draw an
object and label each of its "parts."  We usually draw/discuss at least
2 different objects before turning the discussion to parts of a flower.  
Each student draws a flower clearly depicting the stem, petals, leaves,
roots, etc.   Students use computer labels to identify each part.  On
the backside, student choose another object (chair, body, apple, jet,
etc.) to draw and label each of its parts.
This can be extended by finding objects around the school (or
homework project) which are made up of parts.  Disassemble the
objects and "misplace" a few of the parts.  Allow them to reassemble
the objects.  Discuss an object's usefulness without all its parts.  The
same applies to plants.  Students return to their pictures to write
about each part's use to the object:
The  leg is important because it holds up the table  .  
The  leaf is important because it makes chlorophyll .    

It's Not Easy Being a Bunny   by  Marilyn Sadler
*This great story about P.J. Funnybunny teaches students to be
themselves... even when it doesn't seem fun or easy.  
As a response to this story, students create an egg-shaped booklet.
1.  The cover is a pink, paper oval titled
It's Not Easy Being A Bunny by
Marilyn Sadler
. This page has a vertical line drawn down the middle.  
(Students will cut on this line to assemble the booklet.)         
2.  The back page is a white oval with the sentence frame:
It's not easy __________________.
3.  To assemble the booklet, students cut along the vertical line on the
pink oval, then use a brass brad to attach the pink halves to the top of
the back page.  The 2 halves slide open ("Pacman-style") to reveal the
back page.
4.  Students illustrate/complete the sentence frame with something
they find "not easy"  but definitely worthwhile... something they hope
to soon accomplish (ride a bike, behave all day, read a whole book,
climb a tree, swim underwater, etc.)
5.  Last, students turn the booklet over (so the back page is on top),
draw a bunny face on the white oval, and move the pink halves
upward to look like bunny ears.    

I Love You Little One     by Nancy Tafuri
The Runaway Bunny   by Margaret Wise Brown
*These two tales depict a parent's love for her offspring.  Students
love to listen to them again and again.  Students create a "love card"
to their parents using the story pattern from
The Runaway Bunny:
If you ________________, then I'll ____________.   However, we reverse the
storyline.  Students love the silly idea that their parents would
runaway from them.  So they come up with ideas to foil their parents'
imagined plans...  
"If you become a sock,  then I'll become a shoe."   "If you
become a star, then I'll become an astronaut and visit you."   "If you become a
book, then I'll become a librarian to take care of you."

White Rabbit's Color Book   by Alan Baker

The Golden Egg Book   by  Margaret Wise Brown

Egg  by Robert Burton

A Nest Full of Eggs   by Priscilla Belz Jenkins

Inside An Egg   by Sylvia A. Johnson

Egg To Chick    by Millicent Ellis Selsam

Chickens Aren't The Only Ones   by Ruth Heller
Science/Social Studies:
Spring, Kites, and Rainbows Unit         
Signs of Spring Unit              
April Links    
"It Started as an Egg"