Spring is Just Around the Corner
This is a great time of year to take your students for a walk
and observe the signs that tell us spring is on the way.
- Prepare for your walk by reading the Frog and Toad story "Spring," from Frog
and Toad are Friends.
- Discuss the meaning of the saying, "Spring is just around
the corner." What are the signs of spring? What is spring?
- As you take your walk, students will look for new life emerging
and observe the buds fattening up on trees and bushes.
- If possible, students may also photograph signs of spring and use the photos for a multimedia or online presentation.
- Students will gather materials on their walk to use as visual
aids for reporting what they have seen when they get back to
- Students will write their observations in a journal and draw
pictures to illustrate.
- Take a walk along the same path a week later to see further
- Students map their walk, using trees, sidewalks, buildings,
etc., as points of reference.
- If taking a walk is not practical, students may look for signs
of spring in the evenings or over the weekend and report back.
Prairie Spring, By Willa Cather
Evening and the flat land,
Rich and sombre and always silent;
The miles of fresh-plowed soil,
Heavy and black, full of strength and harshness;
The growing wheat, the growing weeds,
The toiling horses, the tired men;
The long empty roads,
Sullen fires of sunset, fading,
The eternal, unresponsive sky.
Against all this, Youth,
Flaming like the wild roses,
Singing like the larks over the plowed fields,
Flashing like a star out of the twilight;
Youth with its insupportable sweetness,
Its fierce necessity,
Its sharp desire,
Singing and singing,
Out of the lips of silence,
Out of the earthy dusk.
March 20 is the Vernal, or Spring, Equinox, the beginning of astronomical
Equinox is derived from the Latin words that mean "equal night." The equinoxes are the two days each year when the middle of the
Sun is an equal amount of time above and below the horizon for
every location on Earth. In other words the sun would be directly
over the Equator.
In the southern hemisphere, the Autumnal Equinox occurs at the
same time as our Vernal Equinox.
Students locate the southern hemisphere on
a globe and name three countries where Autumn is beginning
at the same time spring is beginning here.
The new moon closest to the Vernal Equinox
is traditionally the best time to plant. Students figure out when
Students plant some seeds on the new moon closest
to the Vernal Equinox and some another day to determine which
seeds do best. Make sure all other variables are the same.
Writing Prompt: Write about a springtime experience.
Barry, Frances, Big Yellow Sunflower, Candlewick, 2009. (Grades PreK-3)
The petal-like pages open into a larger-than-life sunflower. With each page, a worm, a bee, a bird and other creatures watch as a seed germinates and grows into a tall plant topped with a big bloom.
Branley, Franklin M., Sunshine Makes the Seasons, Collins, 2005. (Grades 1-5)
Explains the concept of the seasons, using a pencil and orange and focusing on the relationship between the Earth and Sun.
Lobel, Arnold, Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury (I Can Read Book 2), HarperCollins, 2013. (Grades PreK-3)
Includes the complete art and text from four classics: Frog and Toad Are Friends, Frog and Toad Together, Frog and Toad All Year, and Days with Frog and Toad.
McKneally, Ranida, and Grace Lin, Our Seasons, Charlesbridge, 2007. (Grades K-5)
Haiku poetry accompanies season-related questions about weather and the natural world.