Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: The Carrot Seed

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Plants are growing everywhere you look…everywhere!!! It can be a little bit overwhelming for a kid to learn that it all grows the same way.  The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss and pictures by Crockett Johnson (author and illustrator of Harold and the Purple Crayon) is a endearingly simple tale of a little boy who wants to grow something on his own.

Everyone (his brother, his mother, and his father too!!) keeps telling him the carrot seed he planted won’t come up.

His mother said, “I’m afraid it won’t come up.”
His father said, “I’m afraid it won’t come up.”
And his big brother said, “It won’t come up.”

But this did not discourage the little boy. Each day he sprinkled the seed with water and carefully pulled up any weeds who tried to stake their claim.  The carrot seed still did not come up.  Day after day he was discouraged by those around him but he held on to his confidence that it would come up.  One day…it did! Just like he knew it would.

Curriculum Connections

This book would be a great way to introduce the SOLs K.6a, 1.4a, & 1.4b.  It introduces students to what I think is one of the hardest things to understand about plants – they don’t grow overnight!  This book will help kids to understand if the little seeds they plant don’t show up for a week or two OR if maybe their best friend’s seed has popped through the soil but theirs has not yet arrived.

Additional Resources

  • Follow the links on this blog Heads, Shoulders, Knees and All That to find a beautiful musical reading of The Carrot Seed. :)
  • Here are several age appropriate lessons designed specifically with The Carrot Seed in mind.
  • Scholastic provides instructions on how to create a Seed Museum after introducing the concept of seeds using The Carrot Seed.
  • Although it seems a bit outdated the illustrator, Crockett Johnson’s website is fun to explore and probably holds several other gems like The Carrot Seed.

Book: The Carrot Seed
Author: Ruth Krauss
Illustrator: Crockett Johnson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: December 2004 (Originally published in 1945)
Pages: 32
Grade Range:  K-2
ISBN: 978-0064432108