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City Green



Last updated Friday, December 14, 2012

Author: DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan
Illustrator: DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan
Date of Publication: 1994
ISBN: 068812786X
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2012

Synopsis: From School Library Journal
There is a garbage-filled, vacant lot on the street where Marcy lives. Instead of growing flowers in coffee cans like they usually do each spring, she and her friend Miss Rosa decide to plant a garden there. Old Man Hammer, who used to live in the building that was torn down, believes that they're getting their hopes up for nothing, but Marcy and Miss Rosa lease the spot from the city. Their enthusiasm and energy spread and everyone in the neighborhood joins together to create an urban oasis. Even Old Man Hammer sneaks into it at night and secretly plants seeds that grow into bright sunflowers. This is a pleasant, positive story of cooperation that features multiethnic characters.

Note to readers:
•  You can mention the Christmas decorations on the second page

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you have a garden or know someone with one?
•  What would you plant in a garden?
•  What kind of fruits and vegetables grow in gardens?

Vocabulary:
•  rubble – bits of broken pieces of rocks or bricks
•  ”sour grapes” – when you really want something and can’t have it
•  ”tough as nails” – someone or something that is extremely resilient

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Discuss how veggies and fruits grow . How do carrots/ tomatoes grow?
•  How did he feel about the old building and the new garden?
•  Have you seen a community garden?
•  What different flowers can you name? Vegetables?
•  Could Marcy do this alone? Why was it a group project?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Christmas, Hanukkah, or other holiday card for your family!
•  Sprout a seed in a Ziploc with wet paper towels
•  Make a seed/plant marker using a Popsicle stick, paper, and crayons. Decorate the Popsicle stick with markers.
•  Make a flower from construction paper/pipe cleaners
•  Make a Santa mask

Special activities:
•  Draw vegetables showing under/above ground

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!