STEM Story Hour Kit

Best Users: Librarians, Booksellers, Educators, Early Childhood Educators< Play Groups

Best Audience: Children Grades 00-03


Gardens are not just places for vegetables and flowers!  Gardens are busy with insects, birds, and other creatures.

This kit introduces ten such creatures with STEM talking points for your read aloud and STEM Coloring Cards that allow your readers to take some of those facts home or back to the classroom.  The cards also contain a “Story Time Sound” that invites readers to add to your interactive read aloud.

The kit provides seed pack labels to allow you to share seeds.  Imagine readers creating their own “busy green gardens.”

The kit contains:
— Poster and copy to share your event
— Suggested preparation
— Interactive read aloud
— STEM talking points
— STEM fact and coloring cards
— Labels for seed packets

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My Busy Green Garden: STEM Story Hour Kit (PDF)

Like to design your own posters?
Download Poster (JPG)



My Busy Green Garden
By Terry Pierce
Illustrated by Carol Schwartz
Series: Tilbury House Nature Book Series
Published by Tilbury House Publishers
ISBN-13: 9780884484950
Age Range: 4 – 6 Years

This is my busy green garden.
There’s a surprise
In clever disguise,
That hangs in my busy green garden.
This is a ladybug dawdling so,
Near the surprise, in clever disguise,
That hangs in my busy green garden.
This is a honeybee buzzing below
The red spotted ladybug dawdling so,
Near the surprise, in clever disguise,
That hangs in my busy green garden.

So begins this lyrical tribute to the bugs, bees, and birds that make the garden such a busy place. With each turned page, more visitors appear, and all the while the “surprise”—a chrysalis—changes unnoticed until, on the last page, a butterfly emerges and flies away across the garden’s well-tended borders. Back-of-book notes about the natural histories of the garden’s denizens complete this lovely and lively portrait of backyard nature, which is also a gentle meditation on the rewards of paying attention. A chipmunk hides on every page to divert and engage young readers.


“Pierce uses cumulative poetry to depict a garden full of life and motion awaiting the grand reveal of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. The text is repetitive, with strong rhyme and an abundance of action verbs, well suited to the portrayal of the bustling garden. The end matter features supplemental information on the various critters mentioned within the poem, such as the buzzing honeybee and hungry chickadee. The visuals provide depth to the simple text, with vibrant colors and rich details, including droplets of water trickling down individual petals as well as a reoccurring snail and chipmunk scampering throughout the pages. Echoing the emergence of the butterfly, the illustrations are contained within a defined frame until the final stanza of the poem, when the garden’s cleverly disguised surprise is unveiled and the illustrations burst from their frame to cover the pages in greenery. In addition to the animated cast of insects and animals, there are a tremendous variety of flowers shown within the garden, including forget-me-nots planted by the garden gate, echinacea, tiger lilies, and daisies. VERDICT An engaging read-aloud for young children and new readers, with a lot to discover among the diversity of both the flora and fauna shown in the illustrations.” —School Library Journal
“This action-filled cumulative rhyme deftly tells the story of a vibrant summer garden…building the narrative with a rhythmic cadence that flows delightfully, offers a rich vocabulary, and adds to the fluidity of the story…Meticulously realistic, lush paintings in garden-bright colors will have children poring over the pages to identify each new pollinator or creature that participates in a blooming garden. Children will be pleased to conclude that the surprise is a hanging pupa ready to open and will recognize the arrival of a butterfly. Repeated readings will be welcomed for the opportunities to look for the clever caterpillar and its changing chrysalis. A postscript outlines the natural role each living thing plays. A lovely literary and artistic rendering.”  —Kirkus Reviews


  1. <3 <3 <3!
    Summer STEM programs in the park! EE outreach! You did it again! 🙂

    • Oh…time for bug hunting!

  2. WOW. This is fabulous! Thank you, Curious City!

    • The “fabulous” belongs to you an Carol. Such a LOVELY book and such an important jumping off point for educators.

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