Friendly Flowers

K, 1, 2

Students will study the structure, color, texture and smells of flowers and discuss the importance of beauty (is it a want or a need) in their lives. Students will work with a partner to create a flower with a medium of your choice. Students will realize that sharing flowers can be an act of philanthropy. They will use a problem-solving model to collaboratively choose an appropriate site for planting flowers.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne-Hour Class Period

The learner will:

  • listen to music while creating flowers with a partner.
  • decide on a philanthropic act related to flowers.
  • recognize the difference between private property and common resources.
  • use a problem-solving model to choose a site for planting.
  • Musical selections, such as “Waltz of the Flowers” by Tchaikovsky
  • Pictures of flowers gathered by students in Lesson One: Moving with the Marigolds
  • Art books with portraits of flowers
  • Gardening magazines with flower pictures
  • Live flowers
  • White paper
  • Art mediums, such as the following:
  • Oil pastels
  • Paints, finger paints, water colors
  • Construction paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Clay
  • Colored pencils
  • Checklist of Observations (Attachment One)
  • Where to Plant-- Planning Chart (Attachment Two)
Home Connection 

Ask the parents to take their children to a local garden, greenhouse or flower shop and have the students smell and observe the flowers closely. They could take pictures of different flowers and create a collage of flowers.

  • Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Il’yich. “The Waltz of the Flowers,” Nutcracker. Angel Classics, 1999. ASIN: B0000IZSXE (This is just one of many recordings available of this classic.)
  • home page. Use the search engine to search for artwork with the theme of “flowers.” <
  • The Global Gallery: the online art source. Search for “flowers.” <


  1. Anticipatory Set:Arrange in advance for someone to knock on the door and deliver a vase of flowers or a beautiful potted flower (as a surprise to the students). Ask the person (the principal or another teacher) to bring them in and say that they are a gift for you or your classroom in order to cheer you up, say thank you, or brighten the room. The giver should say it in a way that creates a warm feeling for you or the whole class. Say thank you in a way that shows the students that the gift makes you feel special. Put the flowers in a place for everyone to enjoy.

  2. Talk to the students about how the gift made you feel. Discuss how flowers add beauty to the room (and world). Discuss whether beauty is a need or a want. Lead the students to discover that beauty (as found in flowers) adds to the quality of your life.

  3. Bring out the pictures of flowers that the students brought in from home (see Lesson One: Moving with the Marigolds). Look at the pictures and explore the differences and similarities. Study and name the flower parts. Observe the real flowers—their parts, colors, texture and smell. Look at books with artists’ interpretations of flowers and gardening magazines with a variety of flowers. Help the students pay close attention to the many shapes, sizes, and colors.


    Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent or treasure intended for the common good. Discuss whether there is a way to share the joy of flowers with someone so that it becomes an act of philanthropy? Listen to their ideas and guide them to a realistic conclusion.

  5. Discuss the difference between private property and common resources. Are there common areas in the school property or community (a park) where many people would benefit from flower plantings? Suggestions for private areas include a “Habitat-for-Humanity” house, a senior-citizen home, or the home of a community member that needs a boost.

    Using the PACE Decision Making Model, students will decide as a group where and how to use flowers as a service to the community. (See Attachment Two: Where to Plant—Planning Chart.)


The partners complete an artistic rendition of a flower or bunch of flowers and communicate their reactions to the experience. (See Attachment One.) Teacher observation of students in discussions and cooperative activities

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Explain the difference between wants and needs.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.7 Define and describe private property and common resources.
      2. Benchmark E.8 Recognize the difference between private property and common resources.
      3. Benchmark E.9 Identify the "commons" in the school and neighborhood.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.