Vegetable Dance: Grow Up, Down, and Around

Read It. Move It. Share It. is a collaboration with Kerry from Picture Books and Pirouettes. Once a month Kerry recommends a book for me to use in my creative movement classes. Then I write a post on what I did with the book and how I used it with my students in hopes of giving you some new ideas to use in your classes! Here is the April book. Enjoy!


This could be crazy, but I think this book, Up, Down, and Around almost meets the genius of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!  The illustrations are gorgeous and I love the concept of a book about gardening and vegetables.

The words have quite the rhythm, so after I read the book to my students, I memorized it so we could dance it. Here is what we explored: 

First, I asked the students to become seeds planted in the dirt. They like me to plant them, so I give them a little pat on the back or belly, and then sprinkle them with water with a little tickle.

Up and Down: “Corn grows up, Carrots grow down. Cucumbers climb around and around.”

We explored up and down. We explored putting different body parts up and then down. One student came up with a shape and said “look my legs are carrots!” 🙂

Spirals: The vegetables that grow around and around needed their own movement. So we explored spirals. Spiral (twist) each body part in isolation first, and then we tried our whole body. It’s fun to do starting on the floor and spiraling gradually all the way up, it’s also fun to spiral into or out of an upside down shape.

Grow: We grew from the seed slow, and then fast. We grew into something big and something small. Then I asked them to grow into a vegetable. They got to choose if they grew up or down, or all around.

At the end of the book they pick and pull the vegetables to make lunch.

Vegetable Dance: I did this lesson with my 3 and 4 year olds. I split the class into two groups. I asked half of them to be the vegetables and half of them to be the farmers. (Don’t forget your farmer hat!) The vegetables in the garden grew, and then the farmers went around the room and picked which vegetables they wanted by taking their hand gently and “pulling” (I use this term lightly;)  them to the side of the room.

Then we switched groups! It was really fun and so different! Flowers are usually my go to in the spring, but now I can spice it up with vegetables too!

Have a Picnic: Talk about what they would eat for lunch with the vegetables they picked. Then give everyone a scarf to make their blanket for the picnic and enjoy! Watch out for the ants! 😉

Do you dance about vegetables in class? This book is awesome! Let’s head over to Kerry’s blog and learn more about it.

p.s. Do you know of any good farming music? I couldn’t find the right piece of music for our vegetable dance and thought my fabulous readers would have some great suggestions.

p.s.s. The Fruit Tree Dance 




  1. Banjo, guitar and fiddle music comes to mind for “farming music.” Try looking up some folk bands! If you have Eric Chapelle’s Contrast and Continuum Vol. 3, a good track for this is “The Bayou Both-Step” It has fast and slow parts of the same repeating melody, so can be used for going slow/fast, sharp/smooth and other opposites. I just got this book for spring, and am excited to use it in class! I love reading your blog and getting ideas, thank you!!

    1. Author

      AnnaKate, I have the Eric Chappelle music and it’s so great! Thank you for your ideas about the folk bands!

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