Caroline Arnold's Books - My Books

Caroline Arnold's Books

Home My Books Children's Projects School Visits / Teaching Awards About the Author


The kindergarteners in Room 6 are growing a salad! Their teacher Mrs. Best brought seeds and young plants to school. The children prepared the soil and planted the seeds and seedlings. Now they water, measure, and watch as the plants grow bigger, taller, riper! How long will it be until the vegetables are ready to harvest and make a delicious salad?

Planting a garden--in the ground or in containers--is a popular project at home and in school. This book includes scientific information written at a level understandable to young children. It is ideal to use with STEM or STEAM curriculums.

Joyful photographs show kids planting, tending the garden, and harvesting (and eating!) the results. The Life Cycles in Room 6 series follows a real kindergarten class and engages readers with hands-on science in the classroom and beyond. Look for the other books in this series: Hatching Chicks in Room 6(Charlesbridge, 2017) and Butterflies in Room 6(Charlesbridge, 2019).

Curriculum Links
  • Language Arts: comprehension strategy--compare and contrast, main idea/details strategy, cause and effect relationships
  • Science: Life science--plant growth and development.
  • Click HERE for a reading guide and projects for PLANTING A GARDEN IN ROOM 6.

    Prizes and Awards
  • Junior Library Guild Gold Selection, Spring 2022
  • Best STEM Books for Kids of 2022 at the Nonfiction Detectives
  • Recommended Publication, American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture
  • Children's Projects

    Growing Citrus Seeds

    The seeds of oranges, lemons, and grapefruit can grow into nice houseplants. Plant them in potting soil, and place on a sunny windowsill. When the plants are matchstick size, choose the strongest one and pull out the others. Gardeners thin their plants so that they have plenty of room to grow.

    Birdseed Garden

    If you have a pet bird or a bird feeder for wild birds, you can try growing birdseed. Plant your birdseed in a pot filled with potting soil. The small, round seeds are millet. Sunflower seeds, if planted outdoors, will grow into plants much taller than you are.

    Herbs and Spices

    Many herbs and spices are seeds. You might find caraway, cardamom, celery, anise, mustard, sesame, or poppy seeds on your spice shelf. Try planting some of them to see if they will grow. You can fill an egg carton with potting soil and plant a different kind of seed in each cup. Use a craft stick to label each section. When a plant is about two inches tall, it should be transplanted to a larger container.

    More Projects at my Blog

    Dozens of garden related projects can be found on my blog, Caroline Arnold Art and Books. For a list of links to those projects, click HERE.

    Other ROOM 6 Books by Caroline Arnold
  • Hatching Chicks in Room 6(Charlesbridge, 2017)
  • Butterflies in Room 6(Charlesbridge, 2019)
  • Planting a School Garden
    The story of PLANTING A GARDEN IN ROOM 6 is set in Southern California, where winters are mild and ideal for cool weather plants such as lettuce and radishes. The Room 6 garden was planted in mid-February and harvested in April. Every garden is different. What you plant will depend on the time of year, the climate where you live, and the location of your garden. A local garden store can help you choose the best seeds and plants for your area. In colder climates garden plants can go in later in spring—radishes mature and are ready to pick in just six weeks—or a fall garden can be planted in August at the beginning of the school year.
    School Library Journal, January 14, 2022
    In a relatable tale that combines process and joy, the children of Mrs. Best’s real-life kindergarten class are growing a garden! Arnold has photographed and told their story from beginning seeds to finished salad. The children are taught how to prepare the soil, how to plant the seeds, and how to water and nurture the seedlings. They are taught to keep the strong seedlings and to either compost or feed to the chickens the weaker ones. Mrs. Best explains how ladybugs help keep damaging bugs under control. The children learn what plants need support and to be patient and give everything time to grow. After three months, they are ready to harvest and make a salad for all to enjoy. In the back of the book, readers will find a listing of what parts of plants are edible, what garden tools to use, and common gardening questions. There is a very effective garden vocabulary page, as well as a list of online sources and books for further information. VERDICT With photography to illustrate each step, this is a delightful and informative book. Cynde Suite

    NetGalley, March 15, 2022
    What an excellent introduction to gardening for young children! The book follows a kindergarten class as they plant a vegetable garden. Each step is recorded in vivid, detailed photographs that bring the subject to life. Kids will not only be fascinated by everything they learn about plants and natural science as they follow along, but they also will be engaged by following students just like themselves through the process.

    The language is clear and simple and basic concepts of plant growth are explained in accessible manner. There is a simple Q&A section about gardening at the end, along with a glossary of terms. This would be an excellent introduction to a classroom unit on plants and gardening or to inspire kids to try a gardening project at home. Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!

    The Nonfiction Detectives, April 22, 2022 (Earth Day)
    Another addition in Arnold’s Life Cycles in Room 6 series, has this kindergarten class planting a garden. In beautiful, colored photos we follow this special teacher as she shares her love of science with her students. This year, Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Best, has brought some lettuce, kale, radish, spinach, carrots, and pea sees for student to plant in their classroom garden. Readers follow students as they discover each plant has it own kind of seed, preparing the soil to watching the seeds emerge. As they learn about helpful insects, weeding, and garden care the best part comes at harvest time when they can all enjoy the fruits of their labor with a yummy salad. The book includes garden vocabulary, garden questions, online sources and suggestions for further reading. *The fun part is learning that the chickens pictures in this book are the ones hatched in Arnold’s book, Hatching Chicks in Room 6. I wish I had a Mrs. Best as my Kindergarten teacher. Cathy Potter and Louise Capizzo, Libraians

    Children's Literature, a CLCD Company, July, 2022
    Prolific author Arnold has crafted another winning book that explores how real-life teacher Mrs. Best and her students explore hands-on science. The book opens with the children in her class curiously observing the seeds and young plants their teacher has brought to school, choosing ones to grow and harvest before the end of the school year. Photo illustrations throughout the book depict a diverse class of students participating in every phase of this project. They prepare the soil, plant and transplant seedlings, tend the garden, harvest the vegetables, and prepare the vegetables that will be used in the final product—a salad. Along the way, they also learn about composting and find out which insects are helpful to have in your garden. Factoids denoted with a watering can icon are sprinkled throughout the book to highlight additional gardening facts. A multitude of supplemental features are included for further reference, including a glossary, a bibliography of print and online resources for further investigation, and frequently asked questions about gardening and plants. This text and these supplementary resources make this book an excellent library addition to support a school curriculum, as well as providing more information and inspiration to young aspiring gardeners. Hopefully, after being introduced to this title, young readers will be encouraged to eat more vegetables and grow their own garden, with adult supervision.

    Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California (ACL), August, 2022
    As school gardens increase in popularity, so too should the number of books about the topic. Arnold’s well-documented kindergarten classroom garden features lots of action-packed photographs and smooth, flowing narration about how a garden works. The engaging photos demonstrate how to prepare the soil, add worms, choose a variety of plants, and how the various plants grow, while the narration provides additional details and explanations. Useful for any school (or home) with gardens, or anyone curious to see what taking care of a garden involves. Joshua Rees, Daly City PL

    American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

    A wonderful look at how students planted a school garden with real-life pictures. This book is packed with information which makes it a good resource, but a harder "read aloud". Great for classroom reference.