Our first main lesson for this Botany combo block is the dandelion, as we are following the sequence laid out in Charles Kovacs Botany book. . . it's a really lovely book and has a great progression! I use the short lecture chapters to absorb in my own being, and then I bring it to my 5th Grader in my own words. I meditate on it the night before, and imagine both the feeling and the doing and the thinking that we will explore the next day. Since I am block combining for my 1st Grader, I planned a Dandelion poem and a simple little story I made up about a Droopy Dandy to go with the Alphabet letter "D" 😊
We foraged for some dandelions on a walk locally, and my 1st Grader especially had a fun time going on a "Dandy Hunt" in the fields! She was a great helper! We then made Dandy Crowns with the long stem ones as instructed in the book A Kids's Herb Book for Children of All Ages by Lesley Tierra ( A wonderful must have book! To see our entire Botany book list, please see the 5th Grade Botany section of our forum!)
Of course we made some wishes too!
While we started our drawings, we tried some Roasted Dandelion Root Tea. The girls liked it, even though it is a bit bitter. The honey helped! It was really neat to have the plant literally running in our bodies as we got in the spirit of drawing it! We did bring a specimen to study for the drawing, but we also brought some soil in with it. Steiner really emphasized how the plant and the soil need each other, and so separating them for children is too much of an abstraction. We would not study specimens in a row, separated from life and soil for example, and without a parable or relation to the human being. We want all teaching to come alive and be as human as possible! I have posted some wonderful Steiner Botany quotes pinned in the forum and we can discuss them to understand them better.
We read the dandelion poem from the book Flower Fairies of the Spring by Cicely Mary Barker. I great book to purchase for this and many other spring poems and fairies!
The 1st Grade Droopy Dandy Story:
Once there was a Droopy Dandelion, quite in the Dark. He grew under a shady Darlington Oak tree. He kept reaching and reaching for the sun but couldn't ever quite reach any light. Day after Day at Dawn the Droopy Dandelion opened up and reached and stretched higher and higher out of the Dark towards the light. But, he just couldn't seem to get away from the Dark Dingy undergrowth of the tree. The Droopy Dandy became Depressed and Down. He began to wither and give up. The Darlington Oak tree, who was so used to the bright sunlight shining down on her didn't notice the little Droopy Dandy. Until one day, the Droopy Dandy had a sweet little girl named Daisy come and blow on his seeds and make a Dear wish. The little girl wished that the Dandelion would stop withering and become beautiful and Dashing and Daring again! When the Darlington Oak saw the little girl and the Droopy Dandelion below her, she started to notice the Droopy Dandy in the Dark next to Daisy. She then spread her branches out so that the Droopy Dandy was now in FULL sunlight!!! The Droopy Dandy no longer drooped. . . and no longer formed the "letter D" on it's side but stretched out up to the sun between the Darlington's branches! The worms underneath even did a little Dance for the Dandelion!
My 5th Grader took some time outside while I worked with my 1st Grader. . . and then we began after on our own Dandelion Drawing.
I have posted some tips on drawing plants (and pencil grip tips!) with 5th Graders in the Botany section of the The Child is the Curriculum forum. . . I hope they help!
We had a lot of fun with the Dandelion 😊🌼