Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Empty Pot by Demi

Gathering Activity: Planting Seeds in Pots

The children scooped potting soil into pots and planted flower seeds inside.  While we planted, we talked about what plants need to help them grow.

Helpful Hint: We did not water them immediately, as the children would be taking the home in a short time. We didn't really want black water in our cars.  The moms just made sure to help them water them as soon as they arrived home.    

Circle Time: The Empty Pot by Demi

The Empty Pot is one of my all time favorite books.  I can never read it without tears coming to my eyes.  The first time I ever heard it was in a Sunday School lesson for teenagers, and they were enamored .  It's message about integrity is powerful, but simple enough to be understood by young children.  Our preschoolers sat and listened quietly to the story and it seemed to hold their interest. 

The story is about a land of people who love and respect the beauty of nature.  They love to garden, to plant beautiful flowers and trees.  Even the Emperor tends to his own garden each day.  The Emperor holds a flower growing contest to see who will be the next Emperor.  He gives each child a seed and asks the children to tend to the seeds for an entire year.  The hero of the story, Ping, carefully nurtures his seed, but nothing grows.  On the day appointed to present their efforts to the Emperor, all of the children come before him with beautiful flowers they have grown.  Only one, Ping, comes forward with an empty pot.  The Emperor looks upon this child and pronounces that Ping will be king. All of the seeds the Emperor had given to the children had been cooked, and therefore could not grow.  Only one child had lived with integrity and come forward with nothing but the truth.  

I love the lessons in this story.  Gardening is for everyone, boys can like flowers, and of course, honesty takes courage, but is always the best choice.

After we read the story, we reviewed again what flowers need to grow.  Then we sang three favorite songs about flowers and blooming trees.  If you click on any of the titles below, they will take you to the words and accompanying music for each.

Popcorn PoppingIn the Leafy Treetops, and Little Purple Pansies.

Art: Popcorn Trees

The story is illustrated with pictures of beautiful blossoming trees.  We made our own "popcorn trees."

Materials Needed: Popped corn, paper, brown paint, paint brushes, glue

1-We had drawn a simple outline of a tree to allow the children to paint the tree branches and trunk.
2-Allow the children to squeeze glue onto the tops of the tree branches.
3-Glue the popcorn down onto the paper.

Snack: Fruit Flower Pancakes

 Materials Needed:
Small whole wheat pancakes, cream cheese mixed with agave nectar and vanilla, fresh fruit cut into pieces, child friendly knives to spread the cream cheese 

Allow the children to spread the cream cheese onto the pancake and then create a flower using the fruit provided.  The children came up with a fun variety of flowers.

Activity: Planting Strawberries

We went outside to the square foot garden and allowed each child to plant a strawberry plant.  After watering our plants, we spent the rest of the morning digging in an empty square foot garden that is waiting patiently for me to plant something!  None of the children seemed pleased when it was time to stop digging.  It was just too much fun!



Thank you so much for linking up at our gardening post, my friend! LOVE this idea and cannot wait to try to find that book next week!

Love it!

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