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Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

April Page

Floriculture

"Earth laughs in flowers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now is the time of year when Oklahoma's floriculture industry comes to life. Temporary greenhouses spring up in the parking lots of large retail stores and bedding plants spill out onto the sidewalks of smaller garden centers.

Send students on a scavenger hunt in the garden section of a large retail store or a local garden center.

  • Provide a list of common garden plants grown in Oklahoma for students to find. Bring examples for students to see. The most common bedding plants grown in Oklahoma are begonias, petunias, geraniums and impatiens.
  • Provide a floor plan of a local garden center with labels of plants or flowers. Students give directions from the entrance to find the Oklahoma plants.
  • Discuss the difference between goods (plants for sale) and services (gardeners, landscape designers, etc.) in the floriculture industry.
  • Students look for plants of certain color, with certain leaf shapes, annuals or perennials (Discuss the difference.), etc.
  • Students graph results of their hunt.
  • Writing Prompt: In 200 words, describe your favorite flower.

Oklahoma redbuds are in bloom. Help students make Red Dirt Redbud with Oklahoma red dirt and tissue paper.

Egg Cup Flowers (from education.com)

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

by William Wordsworth, 1804

Discussion questions and activities for this poem

More about Floriculture

Oklahoma State FFA Floriculture Plant Index

Ag in Art: Impressionism: Prepositions and Monet (lesson for grades 6-8 from the J. Paul Getty Museum)

Online OAITC lessons related to floriculture

Student "Bees" looking for flowers to pollinate in "Bee Smart; Bee Happy."

Books

Barry, Frances, Big Yellow Sunflower, Candlewick, 2009. (Grades PreK-3)

The petal-like pages open into a larger-than-life sunflower. With each page, a worm, a bee, a bird and other creatures watch as a seed germinates and grows in to a tall plant topped with a big bloom.

Carle, Eric, The Tiny Seed, Little Simon, 2009. (Grades PreK-2)

Flower pods burst and dispatch their seeds to the wind; the air-borne seeds are subject to many disasters; and the ones that make it through the perils of the seasons to become mature flowering plants are still susceptible to being picked, trod upon and otherwise damaged. But nature allows for survivors, and so the tiny seed grows into a giant flower, releasing its seeds and continuing the cycle. Reissue of the 1970 edition, with expanded, expansive collage illustrations.

Colburn, Cherie Foster, Our Shadow Garden, Bright Sky, 2010. (Grades PreK-2)

When a beloved grandmother becomes ill and is no longer able to be in the sun, her granddaughter is inspired to create a garden she can enjoy. She and Poppa work together in secret to transform Nana's garden into a night-blooming oasis, a place where she can be with the creatures and plants that bring her happiness. As they work with seeds, trowels and wheelbarrows to cultivate moon flowers, star jasmine and other luminous, pale, sweet-smelling plants, they discover the sensory beauty of the garden at night. Gardening facts and tips accompany the illustrations, which were created by children who are battling cancer.

Noyes, Deborah, and Bagram Ibatoulline, Hana in the Time of Tulips, Candlewick, 2005. (Grades K-5)

Rembrandt-inspired illustrations and text tell the story of tulip fever's impact on a Dutch family.

Tagliaferro, Linda, The Life Cycle of a Sunflower, Capstone, 2007. (Grades PreK-2)

This early reader book captures the development of the sunflower from seed through germination, growth, flower development and pollination and on to seed development.

More Ag-Related Books for Children and Young Adults

 

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Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

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Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is a program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.