8 1/2" x 11" Book Making · Drawings · garden drawings · Making books with elementary students

Where’s summer? We’ve got the flowers, and that’s a start!

yellow flower drawing

It’s cool (cold?) and rainy here in upstate NY. We’ve had a few teaser hot days, but not lately. As the school year winds down, I am taking a great deal of pleasure in looking over the flowers of summer that were drawn by third graders during my time with them making Spinning Books which feature the parts of plants on one side of the page, and the explanation of the function of that plant part on the backside of the page.

colorful flower

The highlight of this workshop was looking at flower drawings done by the students.flowers on a spike

I offered fairly opened-ended suggestions on how to draw flowers. I demonstrated flowers with four-and-five petals, with more than five petals, umbel-type flowers (flower cluster resemble umbellas), and racemes (flowers on spike), I told them that there are so many types of flowers in the world whatever choices they made in terms of shapes and colors, that there is likely a flower somewhere that would match their creation.

getting started with flower drawings

The students began their drawings on cover-weight white paper which had two 4” squares and one 4″ x 2.5″ rectangle printed on the paper. This helped students make their drawings as big as they needed to be.

red shirt, red flower

It was interesting to see that many children drew pictures that matched the clothing that they were wearing.

flower parts on page

After the drawings were done, the students cut them out, leaving  a border of white paper around the edges of the drawings. This helps the drawings stand out better than if they were cut right on the black line (which is first done is pencil, then traced over with a thin black marker).

mexican looking flower

I have to say that this project was a complete pleasure to do with these third graders. Their ample skills, enthusiasm and creativity were well showcased.

Ellie's flower and pot

I was particularly blown away by noticing the wide range of expression. While some drawings were lovely in a classically recognizable way…

Dancing Stamens

…the work of other students looked like cutting edge modern art. Notice how the stamens of this flower look like dancers in a fiery field!


And this young man was excited to draw the Texas Bluebonnet as it appeared to him. He sounded completely captivated as he explained to me how the parts of this flower blended to appear to be a dense cluster of blue.

Flower going into its pot

Watching these students draw is the best part of what I do. And it helps me bear waiting for this summer to come.

Again, here is the link to the first post I wrote on these Spinning Books: take a look if you would like to get a better idea of the finished product.

3 thoughts on “Where’s summer? We’ve got the flowers, and that’s a start!

  1. Love these Paula. Great idea doing when the flowers are growing now. They are artsy & pretty too. Good idea & fun too. Thanks.


    1. Thanks Mayra. I agree, this activity lends itself well to science concepts. I think that because the structure lends itself well to breaking down information into small, illustrated chuncks, that it is a good way to present ideas. A student teacher that saw this structure used this spinning book effectively to define and illustrate simple machines (levers, pulleys etc).
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!.


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