Sunday, March 9, 2014

Paper Flower Crowns for The Boy Who Grew Flowers

The Boy Who Grew Flowers is one of my very favorite books from Barefoot - or any other publisher!  Jen Wotjowicz, the author, has said that she was inspired to write this story by her brother who is autistic, and many people see this book as a story of learning to accept people of all different abilities.  But I think this is a beautiful story of finding true love, and I always get a warm rush of joy when Rink Bowagon and Angelina Quiz discover that they are perfect for each other at the end of the book.

Rink is an unusual boy from an unusual family, and the kids at school stay far away from him.  When Angelina moves to town with her family, she is immediately popular but wonders about the quiet boy in the back of the classroom that no one ever talks to.  Rink is similarly fascinated with her, and when the teacher announces that there will be a school dance, Rink sees his chance to make Angelina happy by making sure she can dance even though her right leg is one inch shorter than her left.

This illustration of Rink and Angelina at the school dance - a full two-page spread in the book - is simply breathtaking...I would love this book for the artwork alone even if the story weren't also deliciously lovely!

I originally planned to read The Boy Who Grew Flowers and do a craft with the after-school kids as a Valentines' Day activity because of the love story angle, but between snow days and sick days and February vacation week, it was the very tail end of February before I made it into the classroom.  We made these sweet paper flower crowns out of paper plates and strips of construction paper in different colors - aren't they adorable?

Here we are in the middle of creating them:

The crown part of this craft is pretty easy - take a paper plate, fold it in half, hold it with the flat edge facing you and make three cuts like you are cutting a pizza (but not quite to the edge of the plate), then open it up and make two more cuts along the previously folded edge so you have four equal triangles in the middle of the plate.  Fold those up so you can put the flowers on them when you make them.

The flowers are a little trickier, and I'm glad we had some extra adults in the classroom that day to help out - not all of the 5-year-olds had the fine motor skills yet to create these on their own.  Here's a little video that shows how to do it, which I found at Lessons Learnt Journal:

Put one flower on top of each point of the paper plate crown, then tape each one down with green tape to look like a stem.  If you have a little more time, cut out some green leaves to go with your flowers and tape them on as well. 

And there you have it - paper flower crowns for The Boy Who Grew Flowers!

 (PS - The Boy Who Grew Flowers and lots of other books for spring are on sale in March!)

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