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The Gardener Activities and Lesson Plans for 2024

Elementary teachers looking for lesson plans and activities for The Gardener will find this post helpful. It includes resource recommendations, free teaching ideas, and information about the book. You’ll have everything you need to deliver engaging interactive read aloud lessons based on this story.

With themes of transitions and kindness, this The Gardener picture book by Sarah Stewart is a favorite in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. It will be a big hit in your classroom too! Learn more about this book below!

Engage Your Students with The Gardener Lesson Plans & Activities in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Read a summary of The Gardener. You can find it in the section below.
  2. Check out the teaching ideas for reading comprehension strategies, grammar topics and social emotional learning skills that can be taught using this children’s book.
  3. Download the book companion to make lesson planning simple with The Gardener reading comprehension questions, writing prompts, teaching ideas & no-prep extension activities.

THE GARDENER SUMMARY

Sarah Stewart’s book, The Gardener, takes place during the Great Depression. The story follows a young girl named Lydia Grace, whose parents have both lost their jobs. It is decided that she will move to the city to live with her Uncle Jim who owns a bakery. The book is told through the letters she writes home to her family.

 

Lydia Grace loves gardening and works hard to neaten up the bakery and plant flowers. She also discovers a secret place on the building’s rooftop and plans a surprise for her Uncle Jim, who never smiles. Lydia Grace and her new friend Emma work to create a beautiful garden on the rooftop and plan to surprise Uncle Jim. When Lydia Grace reveals the garden to Uncle Jim, she learns he has a surprise for her too. Her surprise is cake and a letter announcing her father’s new job and that she will return home! 

THE GARDENER LESSON PLAN IDEAS

Each of our 400+ Starts With a Story book companions come with a teacher’s guide to make lesson planning quick and easy, printable worksheets and digital resources that cover ALL of the standards-based reading comprehension skills.

When it comes to writing lesson plans and finding activities for The Gardener, we’ve already done all of the heavy lifting for you.

We found this book was especially good at teaching the topics listed below.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

The text-based The Gardener reading comprehension questions focus on:

  • making predictions
  • analyzing character
  • analyzing setting
  • point of view
  • analyzing illustrations
  • plot | problem – solution
  • cause and effect

LITERATURE-BASED SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING LESSONS

We found this story to be a great SEL picture book to promote:

  • transitions
  • kindness

GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY & WORD STUDY

  • commas
  • antonyms
  • multiple meaning words

THE GARDENER ACTIVITIES

You’ll receive all of the following resources aligned to the story:

  • comprehension questions
  • 30 writing prompts with themed paper
  • vocabulary activities
  • word study print & go activities
  • ideas for grammar lessons with focus sentence printables
  • social emotional learning discussion topics
  • graphic organizers to target specific comprehension skills and strategies
The Gardener
elementary teacher reading aloud a picture book to her students

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The Gardener writing activity

BOOK INFO FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

What are the reading levels for The Gardener?

  • Lexile® Measure: AD570L
  • Guided Reading Level: N
  • DRA Level: 28
  • Accelerated Reader Level (ARC): 3 – 3.2

Who is the author? Who is the illustrator?

The book was written by Sarah Stewart. It was illustrated by David Small.

What genre is The Gardener?

It is a fiction book. You may want to check out our genre activities or read our blog post, How to Teach Genre to Elementary Students.

How many pages are in the book?

The story is 40 pages long.

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