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Outdoor Poetry – Dandelion

The Lost Words book cover with title and illustrations of goldfinches and a dandelion seedhead.
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.

Discover the poem DANDELION from the The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, a wonderful book and the perfect outdoor learning lesson starter.

Full of beautifully crafted poems inspired by words from the natural world, this book aims to bring back natural words in to the language of children.




Our lost word dandelion, is a little time machine, a sun-in-the-grass.  What would you call it?

In this video I read and share the poem, just as I would to a group of children sitting outside in the sun.


My pupils always know how much I love the book, the words and the images.

What other names to do have for the dandelion?  Or what name might you create for it?  What does this poem and this bright little flower inspire you to do?

Here are just a selection of possible activities you could try.

A dandelion seedhead
A Dandelion Clock: The Seedhead.

Get fanciful: Find a dandelion clock and make a wish or tell the time.  Who can get the lowest time?

Poetry: Write your own acrostic, shape or free style poems.  Base them on the new found word or another natural word the children are drawn to.

Artwork: Inspired by the detailed beauty of Jackie’s paintings and drawings create your own art work.  Gather natural materials and create some wild art or grab your pencils and sketch a dandelion up close.

Paint your own dandelion scene.

Create a dandelion rock family.

Sing: Inspired by The Lost Words, a group of musicians wrote a collection of wonderful songs. The Lost Words: Spell Songs.  Lose yourself in this haunting album or skip straight to Scatterseed, their interpretation of Dandelion.  Write your own song based on one of the poems.

a bee on a dandelion flower
A bee on a dandelion flower.

Get sciency: Explore how the flower turns to a seed head, what creatures love to eat dandelions or how a bee pollinates.

Get adventurous: Take yourself on a nature walk and see how many wild flowers you can find.  Examine them closely.  Do you see any mini-beasts flying or crawling around them?



Dig deeper: Learn more from Robin Harford about foraging and what wild plants are safe to eat.  There are many experts out there to help.  Remember never to eat anything unless an adult has confirmed that you can eat it. Click here to discover all about the dandelion and get a free colouring sheet and activity book.

See what one of our wild kids thinks of the taste:

Most importantly, use your new word.  Use it as often as you can, keep it alive, don’t let it get lost again.  Remember, the old magic of speaking words aloud is the best way of keeping language alive.

“Dandelion, dandelion, dandelion.”

Please share your creations, poems, names, drawings, songs or other activities with me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.  I can’t wait to see them all.

The Lost Words.

Further resources from the John Muir Trust

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