Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Teaching Pot of Gold: Daffodils


Photo courtesy of mensatic 002

 Daffodils:  Harbingers of Spring

Hello.  I am Tami from Kamp Kindergarten.  Happy Spring!

When we see daffodils in Georgia we start thinking of spring.  It is usually still quite cold when the first daffodil blades stubbornly emerge, often the only green visible on the ground.  It is a welcome sight when the cheerful yellow blooms crown the stem.  The bright flowers seem to dance in the breeze on cold, gray, windy days reminding me of that old children’s song about a daffodil dancing with a fairy on a windy hill.  

Cheerful Daffodils in a Sea of Brown Vegetation

I grew up in rural Georgia.  Like most country people, I grew up calling the daffodils with the longer corona (trumpet) jonquils.  As a child, I learned a great deal about jonquils and narcissus (daffodils with a shorter corona) from both of my grandmothers.   

Nanny taught me how to tell jonquils from narcissus and the names for different varieties of daffodils.  She and I spent many happy hours poring over seed catalogues where I learned the difference in varieties such as Paper White narcissus, King Alfreds, and Mount Hood daffodils. When the clumps of jonquils “multiplied” as Nanny called it when the clumps got huge, she and I would dig up part of the bulbs and plant them in other areas of the yard.

Grandmother taught me about the specifics of growing jonquils.  She was well known in our neighborhood for her big old yellow house with the yellow jonquils in the yard and the yellow Volkswagen Beetle in the garage.  Grandmother taught me not to cut the blades when the flowers died.  She told me to let the blades “die down” because the bulbs got their food from the blades.  She also believed in fertilizing jonquils in December.  She said if I waited till December that the jonquils would get the fertilizer.  She said if I fertilized them in the spring, summer, or fall that the grass would get the fertilizer instead. 

Granddaddy did not cut down her jonquils after they were through blooming.  My youngest brother helped her fertilize the jonquils every December.  I never researched and experimented to see if Grandmother was right.  Her yard was beautiful each spring.  That was proof enough for me.  

I know this goes against all the teachings about scientific method and experiments.  Even if I had followed the procedures I was taught in Science Teaching Methods courses and found out otherwise, it would not have mattered.  Grandmother already knew the right way to grow jonquils; no one would convince her otherwise. No matter what I may have learned from my research, Granddaddy would still be leaving the blades to turn brown and my brother would still be fertilizing the jonquil beds in December. 

A Daffodil Art Activity

Regular Sized Cupcake Papers

(I could not find individual packs of yellow cupcake papers and had to get the multicolored packs.   I use them for many things so that was not an issue for me.)

1. Paint blades and stem on the blue paper with the green paint.  I chose to use a cotton swab to paint.  A small brush will work well, too. 

2.  Flatten the regular sized cupcake paper. Fold the paper in half.   

3. Fold the half into thirds as you would do to cut a snowflake.   

4.  Cut into a petal shape.   

5.  Open it and glue the center to the top of the stem.   Gluing only the center allows the petals to move freely adding depth.

6.  Glue the mini cupcake paper in the center.

Books about Daffodils

Growing daffodils is a great project for your class.  It is also a refreshing alternative to snowman and other winter themed activities.  These non-fiction books are a great resource to use when growing daffodils.

From Bulb to Daffodil

Here are some fiction books about daffodils.

That's Not a Daffodil!

When Daffodils Ran Free

A FREE Resource to Share


Download this FREE resource from Teachers Pay Teachers.  This daffodil themed activity lets your little learners practice mental math with numerals to 20 and addresses fine motor development in one easy to use activity.  These cards offer opportunities for learners to acquire subitization skills.

You may use all 20 cards or choose the numerals that best meet your learners' needs.  

You may put the cards in a dollar store photo album and use a dry erase marker to make a write and wipe activity. Use an inexpensive black glove as an eraser. These make great early finisher activities. 

Spring Numerals to 20 FREEBIE

Click here to download your free resource.

I hope you and your learners enjoy these daffodil resources.  

Have a Happy Spring!


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