Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

A Gardener’s Alphabet

Azarian, Mary (Author/Illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2000. 32 pages
First published: 2000
ISBN: 9780618548811 (paperback)
Original language: English
Dewey: 635
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this striking addition to the alphabet genre, single words summarize seasonal garden scenes.

The book features common words associated with gardening (bulbs, compost, insects, weeds) as well as less familiar words (topiary, xeriscape), offering an excellent opportunity for vocabulary enrichment and concept exploration.

The illustrations, intricate thick-lined woodcuts brightened with watercolour, are stand-alone tableaux revealing the seasonal narratives of the natural world: a man in scarf and hat pruning a tree, father and son walking the dog through a patch of ornamental grasses, the comfort of a greenhouse on a winter’s day. Each tableau is labelled with a fitting gardening word.

An introduction gives additional context and explains how and why gardens have always played an important role in the life of the author/illustrator. A sweet touch: she includes a black and white photograph of herself as a child in the arms of her grandmother. Readers will recognize the achievements of the gardeners in their lives, and perhaps be inspired too.

  •  

    Choose a page and write about the featured word. This could be writing directions (e.g. how to make compost) or descriptive writing.

  •  

    Write explanatory definitions for  new words.

  •  

    Brainstorm and find illustrations for additional gardening words for each letter (apple tree, ants, azalea, bees, butterflies, brown dirt, etc.).

  •  

    Brainstorm and find illustrations for additional gardening words for each letter (apple tree, ants, azalea, bees, butterflies, brown dirt, etc.).

  •  Talk about your own home garden using the new gardening words.
  •  

    Write sentences about garden pictures (from magazines or photographs) using the words from the brainstorm list. Make a spring, summer or fall display.

  •  

    Use a graphic organizer to sort words into categories such as objects, plants and actions.

  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology