Flowers Stink: Student Guide

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Meet Acacia, a middle school girl, who's struggling to write a nature-themed poem for school. That is, until she meets two zany, fantastical plant beings who help her discover the power of imagination and beauty of nature. Mixing plenty of singing and dancing with folk, bluegrass, blues, and gospel, this colorful musical shows that if you look closely enough, you can find the best of nature in the most unlikely places.

Transcript of Flowers Stink: Student Guide

  • A world premiere Kennedy Center co-commission

    with the U.S. Botanic Garden

    2015 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

    Even the tiniest seeds can grow into

    a great forest.

    Think About

    Listen for when the performers sing, Natures happening right outside my door. Afterward, think about what nature is happening outside your door. Describe it (in a poem!) to friends and family.

    Theater and Science? Its Only Natural

    The worlds of botany (the science of plants) and theater might not seem to go togetherbut take a closer look. Science is full of great ideas for stories. And when you stroll through a garden, you enter a whole new world just like you do in a theater. For this play, the Kennedy Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden wanted to celebrate the connections between science and storytelling by using the magic of theater to show the importance of plants.

    Tune InWatch and listen for these musical instruments played by the actors:

    Guitar, a wooden string instrument played by strumming or plucking the strings

    Ukulele (yoo-kuh-LEY-lee) a very small wooden string instrument that looks and is played like a baby guitar

    Melodica (muh-LOD-ik-ah) a small instrument played by blowing air into a mouthpiece and pressing the keys on the piano-like keyboard

    You might also see and hear some percussion instruments, like small drums or tambourines.

    Melodica

    Americas Garden

    The United States Botanic Garden is no ordinary garden. Imagined by President George Washington and created by Congress in 1820, it is Americas living museum of plants. And it belongs to all of us. Its a place where you can see, and be inspired by, plants from all over the world. And who knows you may be inspired to create your own play about the plants you see today.

    Words and music by

    Debra Buonaccorsi

    and Stephen

    McWilliams

  • After the performa

    nce,

    discover all sorts of

    amazing plants from

    places like these b

    y

    visiting rooms that

    span from deserts

    to rainforests at th

    e

    U.S. Botanic Garde

    n

    Conservatory.

    Hi Acacia,

    Writing to you from

    the Amazon Rainfores

    t.

    The most amazing

    place ever.

    With love,

    Grandma

    and Grandpa

    A Young Girls Imagination Goes

    Plants and Poetry

    Meet Acacia, (pronounced Uh-KAY-shuh). Shes frustrated with her middle school homework assignmentto write a poem about nature. As far as shes concerned, who cares about nature? The first thing she does is type #flowersstink on her cellphone. But before she can add #ihatenature, none other than nature itself bursts into her life in a magical, whacky way. Acacia comes face to face with two fantastical plant beings! Come along as they help Acacia discover the power of imagination and beauty of nature.

    Say What? Oh, Those Tricky Names

    The names of places and plants can be tricky to pronounce. Acacia has trouble with names like Mojave (moh-HAV-ee) and cholla cactus (CHOY-ah KAK-tuhs). But dont worry, fantastical plant beings will tell everyone the right way to say these words.

    Setting the Stage Outdoors

    Did you know flowers and trees can sing, dance, and even play the guitar? Well, they do in this musicala story told on stage with three actors, musical instruments, songs, dances, costumes, and, of course, a whole lot of fun. And where better to tell a story about nature than an outdoor stage called an amphitheater (AM-fuh-thee-uh-ter) at the U.S. Botanic Garden? Youll be surrounded by the beauty and wonder of the world of plants. Just remember that by being outside, you might also hear some sounds of the city, tooeverything from birds to buses.

    Words That Bloom

    Acacia thinks she has the worst homework assignment ever. She has to write a poema piece of writing that often rhymes, where words are chosen for their sound, beauty, and meaningabout nature. But her new friends help her see that nature might be the very best subject for poems. Thats because poetry is what happens when words come together in beautiful and interesting ways, kind of like when a plant grows flowers. And inspiration (sudden, exciting ideas) is everywhere, even in the postcards Acacias grandparents have sent her.

    A Journey Around the World of Nature

    Can you travel the world without leaving your house? You bet! Acacia and friends use their imaginations to visit amazing places, including these:

    Mojave Desert Grab your sunscreenits hot and hardly ever rains in this big area of the Southwest U.S. Its not a very kind place for plants to grow, but they find a way.

    Dear Acacia

    ,

    We finally ar

    rived in

    the Mojave

    Desert.

    We see bea

    uty in

    every direc

    tion.

    Love,

    Grandma

    and Grandp

    a

    HawaiiHow would you like to live on the side of a volcano? Some pretty fascinating and hardy plants do a very good job of it, thank you very much, in this group of islands in the Pacific Ocean.

    Amazon RainforestYou want nature? Well, in the rainforest nature really goes crazy. With an incredible variety of plants and animals in one place, the Amazon rainforest covers 40 percent of South America!

    Aloha Binky,

    Wish you were here in Hawaii with us. Just magical.

    Kisses and Hugs,Grandma and GrandpaPostcard stamp photos (from left to right):Cholla cactus by Brad Sutton, Ohia Lehua by David Eickhoff, Bromeliad by Martin Heigan.

  • After the performa

    nce,

    discover all sorts of

    amazing plants from

    places like these b

    y

    visiting rooms that

    span from deserts

    to rainforests at th

    e

    U.S. Botanic Garde

    n

    Conservatory.

    Hi Acacia,

    Writing to you from

    the Amazon Rainfores

    t.

    The most amazing

    place ever.

    With love,

    Grandma

    and Grandpa

    A Young Girls Imagination Goes

    Plants and Poetry

    Meet Acacia, (pronounced Uh-KAY-shuh). Shes frustrated with her middle school homework assignmentto write a poem about nature. As far as shes concerned, who cares about nature? The first thing she does is type #flowersstink on her cellphone. But before she can add #ihatenature, none other than nature itself bursts into her life in a magical, whacky way. Acacia comes face to face with two fantastical plant beings! Come along as they help Acacia discover the power of imagination and beauty of nature.

    Say What? Oh, Those Tricky Names

    The names of places and plants can be tricky to pronounce. Acacia has trouble with names like Mojave (moh-HAV-ee) and cholla cactus (CHOY-ah KAK-tuhs). But dont worry, fantastical plant beings will tell everyone the right way to say these words.

    Setting the Stage Outdoors

    Did you know flowers and trees can sing, dance, and even play the guitar? Well, they do in this musicala story told on stage with three actors, musical instruments, songs, dances, costumes, and, of course, a whole lot of fun. And where better to tell a story about nature than an outdoor stage called an amphitheater (AM-fuh-thee-uh-ter) at the U.S. Botanic Garden? Youll be surrounded by the beauty and wonder of the world of plants. Just remember that by being outside, you might also hear some sounds of the city, tooeverything from birds to buses.

    Words That Bloom

    Acacia thinks she has the worst homework assignment ever. She has to write a poema piece of writing that often rhymes, where words are chosen for their sound, beauty, and meaningabout nature. But her new friends help her see that nature might be the very best subject for poems. Thats because poetry is what happens when words come together in beautiful and interesting ways, kind of like when a plant grows flowers. And inspiration (sudden, exciting ideas) is everywhere, even in the postcards Acacias grandparents have sent her.

    A Journey Around the World of Nature

    Can you travel the world without leaving your house? You bet! Acacia and friends use their imaginations to visit amazing places, including these:

    Mojave Desert Grab your sunscreenits hot and hardly ever rains in this big area of the Southwest U.S. Its not a very kind place for plants to grow, but they find a way.

    Dear Acacia

    ,

    We finally ar

    rived in

    the Mojave

    Desert.

    We see bea

    uty in

    every direc

    tion.

    Love,

    Grandma

    and Grandp

    a

    HawaiiHow would you like to live on the side of a volcano? Some pretty fascinating and hardy plants do a very good job of it, thank you very much, in this group of islands in the Pacific Ocean.

    Amazon RainforestYou want nature? Well, in the rainforest nature really goes crazy. With an incredible variety of plants and animals in one place, the Amazon rainforest covers 40 percent of South America!

    Aloha Binky,

    Wish you were here in Hawaii with us. Just magical.

    Kisses and Hugs,Grandma and GrandpaPostcard stamp photos (from left to right):Cholla cactus by Brad Sutton, Ohia Lehua by David Eickhoff, Bromeliad by Martin Heigan.

  • A world premiere Kennedy Center co-commission

    with the U.S. Botanic Garden

    2015 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

    Even the tiniest seeds can grow into

    a great forest.

    Think About

    Listen for when the performers sing, Natures happening right outside my door. Afterward, think about what nature is happening outside your door. Describe it (in a poem!) to friends and family.

    Theater and Science? Its Only Natural

    The worlds of botany (the science of plants) and theater might not seem to go togetherbut take a closer look. Sc