This sensory circle time activity is adapted from our Spring Garden Thematic Unit and is a simple activity that encourages children to use their sense of smell and introduces the idea of graphing data collected from a group. You can check out more about our Spring Garden thematic unit and all the other units in our library here.
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Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington is really useful not just for teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden. Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die. She then collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year. I love that the main story is perfect for my almost three-year-old. But there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well.
Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work, and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs. In this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.
Circle Time Activity: What Flower Smells the Best?
Two types of flowers of your choice
Post-it notes with the children’s names on it
Place the flowers in plastic or Mason (doesn’t break easily) jars of water. Place near the circle on a small table or stool.
Make a simple graph with the title “Which Flower Smells The Best?” and two columns with the flower name written out and a picture for children who cannot read at the top of the columns.
Place the Post-it notes with the students’ names on it to the side of the poster.
After reading the book, ask the children what they love most about flowers.
Tell them that one of the things that flowers are most famous for is how they smell. Flowers are used for perfume and all sorts of other scented items.
Explain that today you want to find out which smells better a rose or a daisy (or whatever flowers you choose to use). They are going to get to decide with a vote by placing their name in the correct column and the results of that vote with this simple graph. Using their names helps to reinforce name recognition of their names as well as the names of their classmates.
Have the children come up and smell the flowers, then retrieve their post-it note from the wall and place it in the column of the flower they think smells the best. Tally the votes and declare a winner!
Rose won, not surprising is it?
For more Spring activities check out our Spring Thematic Units.