Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
The Boy with Flowers in His Hair
This literacy invitation explores the book The Boy with Flowers in His Hair by Jarvis. In this tender moving tale of a friendship, kindness, and acceptance, about a boy who is subject of illness or hardship through the point of view of his best friend. It is told in such a way that children can understand and be inspired to care for others when they face trying times while also celebrating the sweetness and gentleness of a child's love and care.
In the story David is a boy with beautiful flowers in his hair that everyone loves and adores. One day he comes to school with a hat because his flowers began to fall. He is left with twigs causing the other children to stay away. His best friend has an idea to create many new flowers to lift David's spirit up.
After reading this story you can set invitations to extend the literacy experiences in three ways.
First, you can forage flowers outside or use flowers that are almost on their way out. Take a piece of paper and draw an outline of a face. Next invite the child to cut the flowers and freely decorate the hair just like David in the story.
Second, provide a large piece of paper where you invite the child to color (tempera paint sticks) or paint all over just like David's best friend. Next invite the child to cut out the flowers and freely decorate the hair just like his best friend did in the story.
Third, to get the most use out of the flowers, you can repurpose them in a sensory bin with water, utensils, bowls, and cups. You can also add liquid water colors or food coloring for an added twist. Next invite the child to create flower soup!
Anytime you extend literacy experiences with open ended invitations that connect the story to hands on play, it deepens a child's understanding and comprehension of a book!