CHRYSANTHEMUM 
by Kevin Henkes, Greenwillow, 1991
Activities 2003 Nancy Polette

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ABOUT THE BOOK
Chrysanthemum loves her name until she goes to school. The children laughed because her name was so long and she was named after a flower. The teasing continued until they discovered the name of their favorite music teacher!
VOCABULARY ACTIVITY
Find two words that go together and tell why:
Chrysanthemum, envelope, Mrs. Chud, desk, precious, fascinating, Parcheesi, wilted, flower, Victoria, Delphinium, bloomed, name, crayon, letters, dinner, dessert
PRE READING SENTENCE STARTERS
1. Names are important because...
2. Making fun of someone is....
3. Some flower names are....
THINKING SKILLS
1. How many uses can you think of for flowers?
2. What could Chrysanthemum's best friend do to help her to not feel sad about being teased?
3. How is the story of Chrysanthemum like the story of Cinderella?
CHRYSANTHEMUM RIDDLES
Brainstorm words that rhyme with mum.
(bum, dumb, sum, gum, hum, rum, thumb, yum)
Make up a riddle: Example
What would you call a lazy chrysanthemum?

Answer: A chrysanthebum
WRITING ACTIVITIES
1. Write a class poem about a seed or a flower.
Use the "If I Were" Pattern. Name the flower. Tell where it is found. Name two things it can do. Repeat the first line.
Example:
If I were a flower seed
Snug in the ground
I would push myself up
Lift my face to the sun and bloom
If I were a flower seed.

2. Share Allison's Zinnia by Anita Lobel.
Study the pattern:
"Beryl bought a begonia for Crystal"
Each child writes a similar sentence beginning with his or her name. These can be illustrated and placed in a class flower book.

3. Share: The Rose in My Garden by Anita Lobel.
Create a new cover with a new title. Think of words that rhyme with rose.
Example: prose.
New title: The Prose in My Garden.

AUTOGRAPH BOOKS
Give students teacher-made autograph books. Put a poem on the cover that says:

It tickles me, It makes me laugh, To think you want, My autograph.

Children gain reading and writing experience as they sign their classmates' books and practice reading friends' names.

Flowers can grow from seeds, bulbs, cuttings or root systems. They require sunlight and water to grow. Not all flowering plants die in winter. Some become dormant in winter and bloom in the spring. These flowering plants are called perennials. Some trees produce flowers.