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The Carrot Seed
Ruth Krauss

A little boy plants a carrot seed and waits to see what happens.  Everyone in his family tells him that the carrot won't grow, but he believes.

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Something to Do, Web Sites to Try, Other Good Books

Something To Do

Would you like to see how roots and shoots grow?

What you need:

A potato or sweet potato
3 toothpicks
A clear glass or jar

What to do:

Fill the glass with water. Take the potato and put the three toothpicks into it on three sides, about halfway up the potato.  The idea is that you want half of the potato to be inside the glass, so the potato needs to rest on the toothpicks. Once you have put in the toothpicks, rest the toothpicks on the top of the glass so that half of the potato is underneath the water. Next comes a little waiting. In about 5-7 days, you will see roots from the potato growing down into the glass.  You might also see shoots growing out from the parts of the potato that aren't in the water.  

This project gives you an idea of how important water is to plants.  You can see that the roots absorb the water and take it to the rest of the plant to make it grow. After you've had fun watching the potato grow, you can decorate the potato by sticking on lips, eyes and other features.

Something Else to Do

Does reading this book make you want to grow a plant of your own? Why don't you plant some herbs or vegetables?  If it is winter or you don't have a yard, you might not be able to plant a garden outside, but there are lots of things that you can plant inside! I have listed some books below that will give you some ideas about planting both inside and outside.

Web Sites to Try

Watermelon Kids

At this page you'll find watermelon recipes like watermelon pops! You can print and color watermelon pictures and make watermelon puppets. Learn fun facts bout watermelon. You can even learn how to plant a watermelon using a seed from your very own slice of watermelon!

Play With Your Food

Learn creative ways to play with fruits, vegetables and bread, and then eat your creations!  Make a banana bug or three rice mice, all with fruits and veggies.

Dole 5 A Day Fun Stuff

You'll find lots of istuff to do at this site, and it's all about fruits and vegetables.  Lots of people point to this site, and it is one of the best out there! You can learn stuff about almost every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine! You can make recipes from the Fruits & Vegetables Kids' Cookbook--like Raisin Buddy Banana Muffins. You can even play a game.

The Carminati third grade tour of the Phoenix Botanical Gardens

Some third graders tell you what they learned about the plants in the Phoenix Botanical Gardens.
For each plant, you'll find a picture and a description. The Organi Pipe cactus is a neat one. If you decide to plant something, you could keep a notebook on your plants, describing them at different times and describing how you take care of the. Does your plant grow better in more or less light, or with more or less water? You could draw pictures of your plants at their different stages of growth.  This could help you next time you grow this kind of plant, because you will know what you plant likes and doesn't like.

Other Good Books

The books below are a good place to start!  If you're still looking for more books to read, you might try the Gardens of Reading page that was designed by some librarians at the Ann Arbor District
Library in the town where I live.

More books about how seeds grow

The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle

Eric Carle has written many books for kids. In this one, we follow a seed from when it first begins growing all the way until it becomes a flower. We see all the different things that happen to a seed during its lifetime. Eric Carle's paintings are bright and fun.

How a Seed Grows, by Helen J. Jordan, illustrated by Loretta Krupinski

This book shows you different kinds of seeds.  It gives you instructions for a planting project that you can do so that you can watch bean seeds change over time. The drawings in the book show you what the bean looks like in different stages of its growth.

More books with gardening projects

Little Green Thumbs, by Mary An Van Hage, illustrated by Bettina Patterson

This book is full of fun gardening projects for kids of all ages.  It's divided up by the seasons, so you'll have a project no matter what time of year it is.  I especially like the pictures in this book because they are very colorful.  You can make Mr. and Mrs. Grass and family in the summer. You can plant a water cress train during the winter. Step by step instructions tell you everything you need to know.

Container Gardening for Kids, by Ellen Tomage, photographed by Bruce Curtis

You can use all kinds of things as containers for plants.  What about old juice bottles or pumpkin shells?   This book gives tips for the beginners about how to start plants from seeds, leaves, roots or seedlings. It also gives you ideas about how and where to plant them. Petunia Pig is one of the fun ideas in this book. You'll see pictures of real kids as they work on their projects.

More books with stories about gardening and vegetables

Pearl's First Prize Plant, A. Delaney

Read as Pearl plants a seed and takes very good care of it. What happens when she takes her seed to the county fair? Pearl loves her plant no matter what happens!

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z, by Lois Ehlert

For each letter of the alphabet, you'll find a page full of tasty fruits and vegetables beginning with that letter.  The pictures look good enough to eat, and they might give you some ideas of what kinds of things you could grow in a garden or in a pot. You'll find familiar foods, like carrots and oranges, and other things that you may not have heard of, like quinces and star fruit.

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