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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom





"Earth laughs in flowers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now is the time of year when Oklahoma's floriculture industry comes to life. Temporary greenhouses spring up in the parking lots of large retail stores and bedding plants spill out onto the sidewalks of smaller garden centers.

Send students on a scavenger hunt in the garden section of a large retail store or a local garden center.

  • Provide a list of common garden plants grown in Oklahoma for students to find. Bring examples for students to see. The most common bedding plants grown in Oklahoma are begonias, petunias, geraniums and impatiens.
  • Provide a floor plan of a local garden center with labels of plants or flowers. Students give directions from the entrance to find the Oklahoma plants.
  • Discuss the difference between goods (plants for sale) and services (gardeners, landscape designers, etc.) in the floriculture industry.
  • Students look for plants of certain color, with certain leaf shapes, annuals or perennials (Discuss the difference.), etc.
  • Students graph results of their hunt.
Writing Prompt

In 200 words, describe your favorite flower.

Bee Smart; Bee Happy Student "Bees" looking for flowers to pollinate in Bee Smart; Bee Happy.
Smart Board Activity
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    Smart Board Acitivity page
Agriculture in Art
Barry, Frances, Big Yellow Sunflower, Candlewick, 2009. (Grades PreK-3)
The petal-like pages open into a larger-than-life sunflower. With each page, a worm, a bee, a bird and other creatures watch as a seed germinates and grows in to a tall plant topped with a big bloom.
Carle, Eric, The Tiny Seed, Little Simon, 2009. (Grades PreK-2)
Flower pods burst and dispatch their seeds to the wind; the air-borne seeds are subject to many disasters; and the ones that make it through the perils of the seasons to become mature flowering plants are still susceptible to being picked, trod upon and otherwise damaged. But nature allows for survivors, and so the tiny seed grows into a giant flower, releasing its seeds and continuing the cycle. Reissue of the 1970 edition, with expanded, expansive collage illustrations.
Colburn, Cherie Foster, Our Shadow Garden, Bright Sky, 2010. (Grades PreK-2)
When a beloved grandmother becomes ill and is no longer able to be in the sun, her granddaughter is inspired to create a garden she can enjoy. She and Poppa work together in secret to transform Nana's garden into a night-blooming oasis, a place where she can be with the creatures and plants that bring her happiness. As they work with seeds, trowels and wheelbarrows to cultivate moon flowers, star jasmine and other luminous, pale, sweet-smelling plants, they discover the sensory beauty of the garden at night. Gardening facts and tips accompany the illustrations, which were created by children who are battling cancer.
Noyes, Deborah, and Bagram Ibatoulline, Hana in the Time of Tulips, Candlewick, 2005. (Grades K-5)
Rembrandt-inspired illustrations and text tell the story of tulip fever's impact on a Dutch family.
Tagliaferro, Linda, The Life Cycle of a Sunflower, Capstone, 2007. (Grades PreK-2)
This early reader book captures the development of the sunflower from seed through germination, growth, flower development and pollination and on to seed development.