Chrysanthemum Book Activities and Lesson Plans for Kindergarten!
The book, Chrysanthemum, is a classic book that teaches about names, individuality, self-love, and confidence in a fun and engaging way! It also emphasizes the importance of accepting and supporting others. It is the perfect book to use as a mentor text and a way to add the classroom mission statement you may have made with your students on the first day of school.
I love sharing the story of Chrysanthemum with students through interactive read-aloud sessions. This five-day book study is a fantastic opportunity to not only practice reading comprehension skills but also reinforce the lessons learned in the book. I’m excited to share the Chrysanthemum activities you can use in your classroom.
So read on to find some engaging Chrysanthemum activities, lesson plan ideas, discussion questions, vocabulary words, crafts, and videos.
Chrysanthemum Book Summary
Chrysanthemum’s parents choose her name because they believe it’s perfect for her, just like she is. She loves her own name and thinks it sounds important when it’s written down.
But everything changes when she starts school. On her first day, her classmates tease her because her name is unique and long. Chrysanthemum feels like school isn’t the right place for her anymore. She complains to her parents, saying her name is too long for her name tag and that it’s just a flower name. Although her parents try to reassure her and remind her how special her name is, Chrysanthemum can’t help but feel down every time she’s teased.
Then, Mrs. Twinkle, the music teacher, announces that she will have a baby. When her classmates taught Chrysanthemum again, Mrs. Twinkle comes to the rescue by sharing that she, too, has a flower name. Mrs. Twinkle also states that she thinks Chrysanthemum would be a wonderful name for her baby.
Suddenly, all the other students want flower names too. This makes Chrysanthemum feel proud of her name once more.
This back-to-school book is great for the beginning of the school year. Every year, I would have students with unique names so reading this book is a great activity to celebrate each person’s name. This is a great story to read at the beginning of the school year, and it remains one of my favorite picture books.
Chrysanthemum Book Activities for Close Reading
Chrysanthemum is one of our favorite books in our Engaging Readers Series. As you know, we take a great book and spend five days diving deeper into the meaning of the book. Younger children have the opportunity to strengthen their literacy skills through thoughtful questioning and classroom discussions. We love how relatable the character is. Here are some of the basic comprehension questions and writing prompts we ask during the week:
- making predictions – Stop after reading, “Chrysanthemum thought her name was absolutely perfect. And then she started school.” Ask, What do you think might happen when she gets to school? Ask students to make a prediction about what will happen next in the story.
- recalling text details/retelling – students place the story sequencing cards in order to show the key details and events in the story
- character study/compare and contrast – Students will compare the story elements and events that take place between Chrysanthemum and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. “Think about Chrysanthemum and Lilly. Compare and contrast how the stories are alike and how they are different.”
- inferring lesson – “Look at the last page of the story. How do you think Chrysanthemum is feeling? What makes you think that?”
- opinion writing – This prompt would be a great time to talk about the effects of peer pressure. Additionally, you could roll play how to respond to peers if they heard someone saying unkind words about another person or classmate. [Adults would benefit from this lesson.] “Do you think it was okay for the other students to make fun of Chrysanthemum’s name?”
Vocabulary words to explore are: dreadful and wilt
You can read more about how we teach vocabulary as part of our interactive read aloud by clicking:
Chrysanthemum Book Video
Each day students will return to Kevin Henkes’ book for the lessons. However, it is also a good idea to include a video recording of your read-aloud. This is an easy way to provide a different fluency model for your students (and a wonderful way to give your voice a little siesta!)
Chrysanthemum Lesson Plans to Compare and Contrast
Here are the graphic organizers we create for one of the comprehension lessons. Students use this Venn diagram to compare the characters in these two Kevin Henkes books: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse and Chrysanthemum.
This is how we set up our comparison anchor chart. Then we complete the charts together.
Here are a few of the student response pages for this activity.
You can see these kindergarten students made their meaning known through their illustrations. It is important to remember that the power of these activities are in the discussions that take place during the interactive read-aloud. Students work with their reading partners as they dig deeper into the details and meaning of the story Chrysanthemum.
In this activity, we look at Chrysanthemum’s character traits at the beginning of the story and the end of the story. We add this to a large chart paper so all students can participate. Then display the character trait chart on the bulletin board so students can refer back to it as needed.
Here are a few first-grade reading comprehension response samples from the inferring and opinion writing activities. We actually have response pages that are appropriate for kindergarten, first grade or second grade students so you can easily differentiate your instruction.
Chrysanthemum Craft and Sentence Study
Students also complete this Chrysanthemum fun craft as part of their sentence study. We revisit a new mentor sentence every week; it is a great way to reinforce grammar, writing conventions, and concepts of print. Students could even add individual letters to the stem of the flower to spell their name.
As I previously mentioned, at the beginning of the year, most of the classroom conversation centers around concepts about print (what are letters, words, spaces, and punctuation…). You could also count the letters in each word.
You can find these Chrysanthemum Lesson Plans by clicking:
Free Chrysanthemum Lesson Plan Name Activity
When you scroll to the end of this blog post, you will find a free download for this name activity.
Young students will each create a page in this name class book. Each page will contain a child’s name. Then students will count the number of letters in their name and practice one-to-one correspondence. This is a fun way for elementary students to see how their name looks.
Other Centers for This Week
SEESAW Preloaded School Themed Centers
Here are a few of the other centers we introduce this week.
These are few of the Back To School Seesaw centers that students can complete on an iPad.
Each set of Seesaw centers are preloaded for you, so all you have to do is assign them. There are roughly 20 pages per theme, so this will keep students engaged over several days to a week.
Here are few more of the color centers from this week.
You can find these color centers by clicking:
Chrysanthemum Activities for Your Classroom
“Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes is an absolute gem of a book that will warm the hearts of you and your students. Its relatable characters and touching storyline provide a fantastic opportunity to create a classroom experience that is educational and fun!
By incorporating a variety of name activities, crafts, printables, and interactive lessons inspired by “Chrysanthemum,” you’ll be setting the stage for an unforgettable journey of learning and growth. Your students will be fully engaged as they explore the significance of names, unleash their creativity through crafts, and dive into the captivating world of the book’s characters.
Imagine the joy on their faces as they proudly show off their name puzzles. These hands-on activities will not only foster important skills such as fine motor development and critical thinking but also create lasting memories.
Don’t forget to tap into the power of read-aloud and story time sessions, where you can bring the story of “Chrysanthemum” to life through your voice and expressions. Encourage your students to participate actively by sharing their predictions, discussing their favorite parts, and connecting with the characters on an emotional level.
Kevin Henkes Author Study
If you are looking for more of Kevin Henkes’ books, I have a few other blog posts you may be interested in:
Editable Chrysanthemum Lesson Template
You can download this free editable template by clicking on the photo below.
Do you need help in editing these visual lesson plans? Click: Tech Support for Teachers
Want to see other lesson plans like this?
To see additional Lesson Plan Posts like this, click HERE.
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Simply add your email to the box below to start downloading this file. Chrysanthemum Lesson Plans for Kindergarten! This back to school book is great for the beginning of the year. I added a free name activity that your students will love! Math and literacy center ideas are also included in this blog post.