Hello Flower

By Uma Krishnaswami
Illustrations by Winifred Barnum-Newman

Focus: Concepts of Print

  • one-to-one matching
  • using the picture clues
  • reading a patterned sentence

Supportive Text Features:

  • familiar words and concept
  • patterned sentence
  • strong picture-text match

High-frequency Words: I, it

Concept Word: plant (the verb vs. the noun)

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • Tell me how you could get a flower to grow.
    • Tell me what someone would do if they planted a garden.
    • What does a gardener do when she or he plants flowers?
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the story and vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: “Hello Flower.”
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see happening in the story.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children what they think the boy in the story does to make a flower grow.
    • Have children predict some words they might read in the story.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the pictures.
    • Ask them what the pictures tell about the story.
  3. Remind children of the strategies they know and can use with unfamiliar words:
    • Ask them, “What will you do if you come to a word you don’t know?”
    • Encourage children to look at the pictures and the beginning sound of the word.
  4. Be aware of the following text features:
    • The book contains familiar words: plant, cover, water, watch, weed, love, hello, flower.
    • There is a patterned sentence: “I plant it.”
    • Only the verb changes on each page.
    • The last sentence is different: “Hello flower.”

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to read about the boy in his garden.

  2. Have children read quietly, but out loud. Each child should be reading at his or her own pace. Children should not read in chorus. Listen to children as they read by leaning close or bending down beside each child.

  3. Look for these reading behaviors during the first reading:
    • Do the words they say match the printed words in the book? (voice to print match)
    • Do they look at the pictures before they read the text or after they read?
    • What do they do if they encounter an unfamiliar word? (appeal to you, try a strategy)
    • Do their eyes go up to the picture before reading the new word in the pattern?
    • Are they saying the initial sounds of words before saying the whole word.
    • Are they saying the individual letter sounds /p/ - /l/ - /a/ - /n/ - /t/ or blending the sounds?
    • Do they reread if they come to an unfamiliar or unknown word?
    • Have they self-corrected any mistakes?
    • Is there any inflection or speech-like sound to their reading?
    • Have they responded with a laugh or other sound as they read the text?
    • Do they make comments as they read?
  4. As children read, suggest a reading strategy if they are struggling: “Try looking at the picture to make sense of the print.” Encourage children to take a guess after looking at the pictures.

  5. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:
    • Review using the picture to help with each new word.
    • Review using the beginning sound.
    • Model how to reread the sentence if it doesn’t sound right or make sense.
    • Review the difference between the verb “plant” and the noun “plant.”

After the First Reading

  1. Ask children to discuss why the boy did each action in the story.

  2. Have children recall the sequence of events for planting and growing a plant.

  3. Review what a plant needs to grow and bloom.

  4. Talk about what all the verbs (doing words) have in common.

  5. Brainstorm how the boy’s actions might be similar to a farmer’s who plants vegetables or flowers.

  6. Discuss how the boy might sound when he greets the flower.

Second Reading

  1. Have children reread the book in a whisper voice or to a partner.

  2. This is a time for assessment. While they are reading, watch what children do and what they use from the teaching time. Alternatively, you might take a running record on one child as an assessment of the child’s reading behavior.

Cross-Curricular Activities

Language: Read ALEJANDRO’S GIFT by Richard E. Albert or THE TINY SEED by Eric Carle. Discuss what made the flowers grow the story and compare the book to HELLO FLOWER.

Art: Fold a piece of paper into 8 boxes. Retell the story in HELLO FLOWER by drawing a picture to match each page in the story. Use the first box for the title and the last box for the words “Hello flower.”

Science: Put some seeds on a wet sponge or on wet paper towels. Seal the “planted” seeds in a plastic zipper bag. Watch and record what happens over a week to ten days. Help children connect what happened in the story with what they observe.

Math: Give children a variety of different seeds and have them sort them by size, shape, color, or texture.

Social Studies: Invite a gardener or someone from a nursery or landscaping company to visit the class. Have children prepare questions ahead of time to ask their visitor. Record the story of the visit as a group writing or modeled writing activity.

Hola, Flor

Guided Reading™: C        DRA: 3        Reading Recovery®: 3

The Spanish edition also uses a patterned sentence and familiar words: planto, tapo, riego, miro, cuido, quiero, hola, flor. Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English they may use other words or variations for the actions. Some children may not use the book language when they speak. Help children understand that “book language” does not always match the words we use every day.

The book introduction and guided reading lesson follow the outline for the English edition. Children need exactly the same support and strategy instruction as their English-speaking classmates.

If children have difficulty with the concepts or words in the story, see the article “Guided Reading with Emergent Readers” for suggestions.

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About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades PreK - 1

Reading Level:

Grades K - 1


Animal/Biodiversity/Plant Adaptations, Nature/Science, Nonfiction, Responsibility, Farming, Environment/Nature, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Asian/Asian American Interest, How To, Human Impact On Environment/Environmental Sustainability , Optimism/Enthusiasm, Realistic Fiction, Self Control/Self Regulation, Pride


Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , Bebop English Guided Reading Level C, Bebop Realistic Fiction Collection Grades PreK-2, Bebop Asian American English Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels A-C Collection, Asian American Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Nonfiction, PreK Instructional Interactions

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