Book Activity 3: Sunflower Sal
- Sunflower Sal by Janet S. Anderson
- Marker or chalkboard, or large sheet of paper and chalk or markers
- 8" x 8" plain sheets of paper (one per student)
- Paint, markers, colors, colored pencils (your choice)
- Colored electrical tape or masking tape that you can draw on
Take turns reading aloud and showing the pictures from Sunflower Sal by Janet S. Anderson.
What did Sal feel like she could do well?
Pick apples, build snowmen, plant sunflowers, and help her Mom, Dad, and Grandma
What made her think she could do those activities well?
Her parents and grandmother said and did things that made Sal feel good about her size and what she could do. She could reach apples, shake nuts out of trees, jump ditches, rescue kittens, swim quickly, build big snowmen, and pick berries without squashing them. She saw the beauty in the sunflowers and it gave her an idea that she thought she could do. She asked her Pa for seeds and then she pursued her idea or dream. Every year she tried something different. Her family supported and encouraged her talents. She had an idea to make a quilt on the landscape with sunflowers and she made it happen. She and her family saw the quilt pattern from the hill and it made everyone feel proud and happy.
What things do you feel like you can do well? List the activities on the board.
What makes you feel like you could do those activities well?
What did Sal feel like that she couldn't do well?
What made her think she couldn't make quilts very well?
She said that her needles wouldn't thread and her squares wouldn't square. She felt like she was just making a mess. It made her feel big and clumsy. Her Ma told her that quilting was not her talent but sunflowers were.
What did Sal do to fell better about her quilt-making talents?
She made a huge sunflower quilt by planting sunflowers around the edges of fields, pastures, the farmyard, etc.
What things do you feel that you can't do very well?
List the activities on the board.
What makes you think you don't do those things very well?
What can you do to help yourself or others feel better about the things you or they don't feel that they do very well?
What did Sal like about sunflowers?
The color up above her head, "swirl of gold and tawny brown and coppery green." She could plant the seeds herself.
How did Sal get the seeds for planting sunflowers?
She asked her Pa for the seeds from the sunflowers he had planted.
What time of year did Sal probably receive the sunflower seeds?
What did Sal like to pick in the fall before she discovered sunflowers?
What time of year did Sal plant the sunflowers?
What natural resources did the sunflowers need in order to grow?
Sun, soil, water, and air.
How did the sunflowers get those resources?
Sal planted the seeds in the soil, the rain and Sal watered the plants, and the sunshine and the air was already there where she planted the seeds.
Where did Sal plant the sunflowers?
By the back door, behind the garden, each side of the lane, and around the edges of fields, pastures, and farmyards.
What time of year did the sunflowers bloom?
What else was growing in the summer?
Corn, tomatoes, hayfields
What did her family say about the sunflowers plantings each year?
The first year the sunflowers blocked the back door. The second year, they shaded the garden. The third year, they made people smile when they went down the lane. The fourth year, they were confused then amazed and joyful about the giant quilt Sal had made by stitching the patches of land together with sunflowers.
Which direction did Sal's sunflower blooms face in the morning and which direction did they face in the afternoon?
Besides looking like the sun, sunflowers are called that because the blooms follow the sun. So they would face east in the morning and west in the afternoon.
What did Sal do in the winter?
Made the biggest snowmen and tried to make quilts.
Now it's your turn to make a classroom sunflower quilt.
Distribute the squares of plain paper and markers, paint, or crayons. Ask the students to design a quilt square with whatever they want to draw about sunflowers. Remind them to sign their name somewhere in the quilt square. They should leave about ¼ to ½ inch edges around the square to allow for tape that will hold the squares together.
Place all the squares on the floor to form the shape of a quilt. Using masking tape, colored tape, or some other decorative tape, tape the squares together. You may want to add stickers or draw on the masking tape to make a more decorative border. Compare your quilt with Sal's quilt. Note that Sal used sunflower borders to connect the squares on the landscape. Everyone could draw sunflowers on the masking tape using colored pens.
Hang the quilt in your room and enjoy the feeling you get from sunflowers!