May Flowers: Presentation and Potpourri Activities

"Spring is in the Air" and "April showers bring May flowers" are phrases that we associate with spring and new beginnings. May is the month for chirping baby birds, green grass and fragrant blooming flowers. Let's bring spring into the classroom!

Introduction Flower Activity

Gather various fresh flowers with fragrant aromas, such as roses, lavender, violets, peonies, marigolds, and strawflowers. You will need at least one fresh flower of each variety. If possible, the fresh flowers should include the stem and leaves, so that students who are blind or low vision can build a full picture of the flower. Be careful with the thorns on the rose stem! Show each flower individually to your student (or class if doing this as a group project). Ask the student to describe the flower - encourage the student to provide details as he/she will be comparing various flowers! Guide the discussion with leading questions such as how the size of the flower impacts the size of the stem. Estimate the height of the different flower types. Which flowers are bushes, vines, low to the ground, etc. Be sure to describe and compare the smell of the different flowers!

Younger students: Have the student take notes on the discussion by making a list of each flower's characteristics. If necessary, spell the important words. 

Older students: Instead of discussing the flower's characteristics, pass each flower to the student and have the student write down his/her personal observations.

Teacher Hint: Take a photo of each flower to be used with the Presentation Activity. Take one picture of the student holding the bouquet of flowers.

Note: Your local florist or store with a garden department will often have "older" plants that they will give you to use for this activity!

Potpourri Activity

Potpourris smell great and easy to make. Many of the ingredients can be found around your yard or kitchen. Look around and be creative!

Materials

  • Dried flower petals from flowers such as roses, lavender, vioiets, peonies, marigold and strawflowers.
  • Dried leaves from lavender, mint, rosemary, arborvitae, and junipers
  • Additional dried materials: orange peel, dried apple, flower pods, juniper berries, cedar chips/shavings, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and small pinecones.
  • Small net fabric bags (Can purchase or make your own out by cutting fabric to 6" circles and 8-12" ribbon.

Directions

Dry the flower petals, leaves and other items on a paper towel or cookie sheet. Spread out the materials so they dry faster. Set in the warm sun if possible! It may take a few days or a few weeks for everything to completely dry.

Mix your dried items in a large bowl or a large zip lock bag.

Place 1 -2 spoonfuls of potpourri in the center of the fabric bags, gather the material around the potpourri and tie the bag with the ribbon (or use purchased bags).

Note: The potpourri bags make a wonderful Mother's Day gift!

Presentation Activity

Have the student create a presentation (PowerPoint, Google Slides or Keynote) about May flowers.

Possible presentation topics:

  • "May Flowers" Each slide has a picture of one flower and the student's description about that flower.
  • "What am I?" riddle:  The student chooses one flower. Each slide has a simple sentence about a characteristic of the flower with the last slide naming the flower. (Example: My flower smells like _____.")
  • Older students can choose a flower and research it. The student can write details including where the flower grows, what the flower is used for, etc.

If desired, the student can download the flower images below for his/her slide deck. All students - including students who are blind or low vision - need to know how to add images to presentations. Images can be labeled and provided for young students, students can use the photos that were taken in class, or older students can find Internet images. Students need to know how to label images (if the images are not already labeled) Once the images are chosen or added to the presentation, the student should confirm the visual aspects with a sighted peer.

National Tech Standards Alignment

According to the National Tech Standards Scope and Sequence:

  • Introduced in first grade, Reinforced in second and Mastered in third: Create, edit and format text on a slide.
  • Introduced in second grade, Reinforced in third, and Mastered in fourth: Create a series of slides and organize them to present research or convey an idea.
  • Introduced in third grade, Reinforces in fourth grade and Mastered in fifth: Copy and paste or import graphics; change their size and position on a slide.

Resources