The Carrot Seed
from the book Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r-s
(For ages 4+)

Circle Time Presentation

Bring a package of carrot seeds to circle time. Without showing the outside of the package, shake one tiny seed into each child's hand. Ask the children to guess what this seed might grow to become if it were planted in some rich soil, had enough bright sunlight and were watered each day. Read the book without reading the title. Near the end of the book the seed is identified when Krauss wrote, "a carrot came up" and Johnson shows a carrot top taller than the little boy. The children will delight in comparing their tiny seed to the carrot which is so big the little boy must transport it from the garden in a wheelbarrow. Reread the book and let the children join you in the repeated phrase, "I'm afraid it won't come up."

STORY STRETCHER

For Block Building: Wheelbarrow Lift

What the children will learn-
To use a wheelbarrow

Materials you will need-

  • Wheelbarrow
  • hollow blocks

What to do-

  1. After a particularly busy block building session where all the blocks from the storage shelves are out, have a child or two try to carry too many blocks at once. When the blocks come tumbling out of their arms, ask if there is an easier way to get the blocks from one area to the other.
  2. Introduce the wheelbarrow as an efficient way of collecting the blocks, rolling them over to an area, and then unloading one's cargo.
  3. Find other practical uses for the wheelbarrow. For example, a teacher asks for help carrying two large gallons of apple juice. A child could not manage a gallon, but with the wheelbarrow the juice is delivered to the snack area. Perhaps it is time for all the library books to be packed up and returned to the library for new ones, another appropriate wheelbarrow delivery.

Something to think about-
Any job where the teacher or the children have to carry many items might be a good wheelbarrow task.

STORY STRETCHER

For Cooking And Snack Time: Carrot And Raisin Salad

What the children will learn-
To prepare a nutritious snack

Materials you will need-

  • Carrots, one per child
  • raisins
  • vegetable peelers
  • paper towels
  • bowls

What to do-

  1. Ask some children to help wash the carrots.
  2. Demonstrate how to hold the carrot to use the vegetable peeler to make slivers of carrots.
  3. Let each child take a carrot and using the vegetable peelers make a mound of carrot slivers.
  4. Place the shredded carrots into a bowl and sprinkle in the raisins.
  5. Place the carrot and raisin salad in the refrigerator to chill. Serve at snack time.

Something to think about-
If the carrot and raisin salad is not moist enough, add a teaspoon of French dressing to the salad; however, we find most children enjoy the salad without the dressing. Also, vary the recipe by adding chopped apples or nuts. Make different recipes and let the children decide which they like best.

STORY STRETCHER

For Creative Dramatics: It Won't Come Up!

What the children will learn-
To reenact the scenes of THE CARROT SEED

Materials you will need-

  • Water can
  • wheelbarrow
  • four children

What to do-

  1. Review the sequence of events in THE CARROT SEED.
  2. Select four characters to play the little boy, his mother, his father and his big brother.
  3. Reread the book and let the children pretend to be the characters.

Something to think about-
If you have young preschoolers, let the audience say the one repeated line each character says, "I'm afraid it won't come up," and the characters can concentrate on their actions. If you have kindergartners, let them improvise more dialogue, since the little boy never said anything. Also, extend the story and think of what the little boy is going to do with such a huge carrot. If you find the children hesitant to extend the story, ask the child playing the little boy, Hey, little boy, "what are you going to do with that huge carrot?" In his play role, he probably will think of something to say. When we tried this activity, a five-year-old said, "Feed 'bout a million rabbits" If you have already made the carrot and raisin salad for snack time, ask how much salad they think this carrot would make.

STORY STRETCHER

For Library Corner, Flannel Board: The Huge Carrot

What the children will learn-
To retell THE CARROT SEED using flannel board pieces

Materials you will need-

  • Felt pieces of the little boy, mother, father and brother
  • tiny seed
  • watering can
  • carrot top
  • wheelbarrow and huge carrot

What to do-

  1. Read THE CARROT SEED and let a child put up the felt pieces on cue. Have the other listeners join in with the repeated phrase, "I'm afraid it won't come up."
  2. After reading the book through once, leave the children on their own to retell the story.

Something to think about-
THE CARROT SEED is an excellent book to select as a flannel board story because the sequence is very clear and predictable. Each character tells the little boy the carrot won't come up, and after each person tells him, he continues to water the seed and weed the garden. The phrases and actions are repeated three times so they become predictable. The simplicity of the story and the surprise ending are satisfying to children to hear and satisfying to retell in a flannel board story. Young children who show little interest in books often will respond to flannel board stories which can become a bridge to their interest in stories in books.

STORY STRETCHER

For Science And Nature Center: Seeds And Carrot Tops

What the children will learn-
To plant carrot seeds and to watch carrot tops grow

Materials you will need-

  • Packages of carrot seeds
  • carrots with tops on them
  • plastic glasses
  • paper towels
  • potting soil
  • bowls

What to do-

  1. Germinate some carrot seeds by placing them in a wet paper towel, inside a plastic sandwich bag. Put the bag on a sunny window sill and the seeds should germinate quickly.
  2. Compare the carrot seeds from the package and the germinated seeds.
  3. Plant the seeds by just making a thumb print in the soil.
  4. Also plant the germinated seeds by lightly covering them with soil. Mark each set of plantings to compare the growth. Let the children predict which set of seeds will grow faster.
  5. Cut carrots so that about one inch of carrot is still attached to the carrot top.
  6. Place the bottom of the carrot in a bowl which has about a half inch of water in it. Place the carrots tops where they can get some sunlight and watch them grow.

Something to think about-
Seldom does a classroom seed become a fully grown edible vegetable. In the spring, consider having a container or patio garden and the children can see their seeds grow into vegetables.