Dandelion at Adamstown Elementary School
On Thursday, March 2nd, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Adamstown Elementary School and work with Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders.
By some stroke of luck, when I was reaching out to libraries and schools in my area, Adamstown Library passed my email on to the librarian at Adamstown Elementary School.
At first, I thought I was simply going to be presenting to a small group of students.
But to my surprise, the librarian wanted me to work with a bunch of groups of students. And after I totaled up each group, the grand total came to 87 kids! So, I planned activities that would entertain and teach them STEM concepts during my visit.
Now in order to reach the children on their different learning levels, I chose activities that could be adapted to fit each child.
Pipe cleaner flowers: For younger children, I combined the pipe cleaners with coffee filters. They could color the coffee filters with markers, and then stick a pipe cleaner stem through the coffee filter. Older children would use their fingers to measure and bend the pipe cleaners into petals and stems, following directions that I had pre-made for each table.
Drawing a garden: I provided paper and markers and hung a poster that showed a larger image of Dandelion in a garden. Each group would be able to accomplish this activity with no adaptations.
Child, Child, Where is Dandelion?: This was a group game that was similar to the group game Doggy, Doggy, Where's Your Bone. In this game, each child would get a flower to hold, one child holding Dandelion. Then once all the children hid their flowers in their laps, the child would get three guesses as to where the Dandelion was in the garden. This would also need no adaptations and would be easy for everyone to play.
How the entire event went absolutely blew my mind.
I brought my mom to help me set up the room and facilitate the event as she has been working in early childhood education for 20 years.
Having a helper there made all of the difference making sure everything ran smoothly. She was able to help the children where I couldn't while they worked on the activities and she could help arrange the materials while I read the book.
The students at Adamstown Elementary school really seemed to connect with Dandelion as well.
They had such interesting questions and brought up interesting topics in regard to Dandelion too!
They talked about:
How did you make Dandelion?
Where did Dandelion turn into a book?
Did you make the illustrations yourself?
What did you use to make the illustrations?
I think that Dandelions are flowers, not weeds
I love to blow the seeds off Dandelions
To grow a plant you need seeds, water, soil, and sunlight
You need shovels, gloves, trowels, hoes, and rakes to garden
Was it hard to make Dandelion?
Are there big and small flowers?
What was even better was how excited they were when I told them I was donating a copy to their school library so that they could check it out any time they wanted to.
Another neat thing was that the children had so many things to say during the book reading and enjoyed making the pipe cleaner flowers so much that we never even got to the group game.
Each child interpreted the activities differently.
Some children wanted to draw a garden on paper, color a coffee filter to make it look like Dandelion, and tape it to their garden picture. Others bent and twisted large petals to create large pipe cleaner flowers. And some were determined to twist them just as I'd done on the instructions.
It was amazing to see how much they enjoyed their short time with us as we had a half hour with each group.
And better yet, since we didn't get to the Dandelion game, I sent it to the Librarian so that she could use it when they visited her.
Here are some photos from my visit: (children's faces covered out of respect for their privacy)