'Jack and the
At least one month in
advance, at one-week intervals,
start bean seeds in
Styrofoam cups or plant pots and grow on a sunny windowsill.
You should have bean
plants at four different stages of growth in drainage saucers
Four rulers | Paper
and pencil for chart | Measuring cup of water
Cotton or muslin
fabric | yarn
Bean seeds |
Photocopied back of bean seed packet with a paper-punched hole
Fishing pole | Green
ribbon or thin fabric strip as a "beanstalk"
with green cardstock
"leaves" stapled or hot-glued on
Note: this activity
is best done in mid-May when seeds can be planted outside
These ideas are compliments of Family Service Lincoln, Child Care Food
Read "Jack in the Beanstalk."
Show your four beanstalks at different
stages. Place a ruler behind each one, and make a chart that shows the height
of each seedling in inches and the number of leaves. Water each plant one-fourth
cup of water or any quantity that moistens the soil and runs out the drainage
holes at the bottom. Mark on your chart that they were watered.
Send an invitation home to a brief
"Jack in the Beanstalk Show" at pick-up time on Friday.
Re-read "Jack and the Beanstalk,"
pausing three times during the story to ask the children what happens next
Practice and memorize this "Seedling
Fingerplay" with actions:
a little seed in the ground
(pretend to plant a seed on your hand)
and raindrops all around
(make a circle over your head, then
make rain motions)
seed in the ground so still
(now be the seed - curl up on the
you grow up? Yes . . . I . . . WILL!!!
(uncurl, slowly stand up tall, and spread open
Brainstorm a story with the children answering this question: what would YOU
find if YOU climbed to the top of a magic beanstalk? Write a group story on a
large piece of paper.
Check the bean plants. Have they grown
any inches? Have they added any leaves? Record any changes on your chart. If
they need to be watered again, do so. You can test by touching the top
quarter-inch or so of the soil and if it feels dry, rather than moist, then you
can water again.
Re-read "Jack and the Beanstalk" and
this time, have the children act out the various parts. See which children get
in to it the most. Select who will play each part and go through the story
again. Let them move around and express the story however they want.
Practice the "Seedling Fingerplay."
Learn this song and do actions - to
the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell":
"The Farmer's Garden Song"
farmer plants the seeds,
farmer plants the seeds,
Ho, the Cherry-O,
farmer plants the seeds.
rain begins to fall . . .
sun begins to shine . . .
plants begin to grow . . .
to eat . . .
Look for a recipe with beans in it
that the children can cook or fix. One idea is to steam whole green beans in
advance, chill, and serve with sour cream with a little mustard mixed in, as a
dip. But don't TELL them what's in the dip - call it "Jack and the Beanstalk
Practice "Jack and the Beanstalk" as a
play again, only this time, extend the fishing line over a room divider or
overhead pipe (perhaps the grid of a lowered ceiling?). Attach the hook to the
top of the "beanstalk" made of fabric or ribbon to the fish hook. Right after
the child playing the part of "Jack" plants the bean seeds, have another adult
reel up on the fishing pole so that the fabric "beanstalk" looks like it's
"growing" from the floor. It's magic! Continue practicing the rest of the play.
Practice "Seedling Fingerplay."
Practice "The Farmer's Garden Song."
Have the children illustrate the group
story that you wrote on Tuesday: "What WE would find at the top of our
beanstalk." Each child should try to write his or her name on the front, with
adult help if needed. Tape them up around the story on the wall.
First thing, check your four bean
plants one last time, and record on the chart any changes in length or number
Make "party favors" -- each child
should make a homemade fabric pouch out of a fabric square, in the center of
which is placed three bean seeds, and the pouch tied with yarn, which is also
connected through a paper-punched hole to the bean pouch, so that families will
receive the information on how to grow bean seeds at home.
Practice the "Jack in the Beanstalk"
play, the "Seedling Fingerplay," and "The Farmer's Garden Song."
When parents and guests arrive,
welcome them, have one child show the four bean plants and the chart, and
another child show the story and illustrations. Then present the play, the
fingerplay, and the song.
Send home a "Jack and the Beanstalk
Bean Bag" with each family, and encourage them to plant the seeds in their
garden at home and put up a bean pole. If all goes well, they can expect to
harvest beans to eat in about 60 days!