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Midwest's Monthly Book and Cook:  "Up, Down and Around"

It's Story Time!

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” O. Fred Donaldson


Up, Down and Around

Author: Katherine Ayres and Illustrator: Nadine Bernard Westcott

From seeds dropping into soil to corn bursting from its stalks, from children chasing butterflies to ants burrowing underground, everything in this vibrant picture book pulses with life — in all directions!

Purchase on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.


Before the Lesson

Objective: Students will learn how different vegetables are grown and harvested.

  • Pass out winter and summer squash varieties (acorn, spaghetti, butternut, delicata, zucchini) so that children can touch, smell and feel winter squash. Ask if any student has tasted squash. Ask them to describe how they ate it and what it tasted like.
  • Ask who has been to a pumpkin patch and describe the visit. Explain that pumpkin is another type of winter squash that can be eaten in soup, roasted and in pies.


Read and Discuss
Read Up, Down and Around

  1. Discuss the different vegetables that children have learned about and tasted. Point out which vegetables are grown below ground, above ground and all around.
  2. Get Moving by putting the story Up, Down and Around to physical movements. When veggies grow “up” children reach arms high overhead. When veggies grow “down” children reach down to the ground. When veggies grow “around” children turn in a circle.
  3. Discovery Table: Cut an assortment of winter squash in halves or quarters, and leave some whole. Place the vegetables on the “discovery table” “sensory table” or another area so children can explore the feel, smell and looks of the vegetables. Follow this process with various fruit and vegetable “families”.



Create a Healthy Kids Recipe Book. Have children decorate the cover with pictures of fruits and vegetables. Each month add a recipe that you have made using fresh fruits and vegetables. Children can create a drawing to accompany each recipe.


Download the Recipe Ideas here

Download the Story Time PDF here

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