How Does My Garden Grow?
2011 (DK Publishing)
Source: Orange County Public Library
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How Does My Garden Grow? starts with a fabulous six page spread that puts a science textbook to shame. You get explanations of the parts of plants, how plants grow, what a plant needs, and why we need plants. A combination of short bursts of advice and facts with helpful graphics and photographs make this section a winner for teaching science. The next section, Making Stuff With Things You've Grown, shows children how to use plants for craft activities. One of the more intriguing activities for me was the article on making corn paper. There are step by step instructions on a single page which make for great instructional material in teaching reading. Other activities include making a container garden and a sweet smelling lavender buddy. The last section, Growing Things and Cooking, is composed of two part pieces that start with how to grow a particular plant and then a recipe for a dish using the plant. For example, there are two pages devoted to growing rhubarb. I learned that you don't eat the poisonous leaves. Again, you get step by step instructions on how to plant the rhubarb. One of the great strengths of this book is that all of these plants can be grown in several different settings. What follows is a recipe for rhubarb cobbler that has photographed instructions that make me want to find some rhubarb and create this immediately.
How Does My Garden Grow? is an excellent resource for children and adults who may be creating a garden at home or in a courtyard at school. In the classroom, you could take a two page spread and work with students on how to read nonfiction. You have plenty of main idea sentences with details that follow. The introductory section would be great for teaching about plants in science. This garden grows with informative text. Now on to that rhubarb dessert.