Monday, April 4, 2016


A Louisiana teacher shared this sweet story about what happened when she let her class "adopt" a special tree on the playground. They named their tree Maggie and hugged her, drew pictures of her in different seasons, read stories and sang songs under her, wrote get the idea. One day as a group of children were playing, one child snapped a branch off another tree. A little boy started to cry because he said, "You're hurting Maggie's friend." I'm not sure "adopting a tree" was in their state standards, but it's a beautiful story about instilling a love of nature in children. And, it's so easy just to take a moment every now and then to focus on trees and all the living things this time of year.
National Arbor Day is April, 29, so you'll want to be sure and check out this website and plan some special activities for your class.

Plant a Tree
Contact your local cooperative extension service, Forestry Services, or National Arbor Day Foundation for free seedlings. Discuss what your tree will need to thrive. Prepare the soil, water your tree, and record its growth.
Divide children into small groups and let them brainstorm all the products we get from trees.
*THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein is a wonderful book to share, but my little kids always wanted to know, "Why did he have to get old?" (I wonder the same thing sometimes!!!)

TREEmendous Writing
Let children look out the window or sit under a tree and write descriptions. Think about the colors in the tree. Are there animals in the tree? What are the parts of a tree?
*For creative writing, ask children to complete this sentence: If I were a tree I would...

Tree Identification
Get a book on trees from your school library. Take a nature walk and challenge the children to identify the trees on the school grounds. How does the bark on trees vary? Do all trees have blossoms in the spring? How are the leaves different?
*Hint! Give children a clipboard and let them draw their favorite tree.
*Let them do rubbings of leaves from different trees and compare.


What's a deciduous tree?  What's an evergreen tree?

Popcorn Tree (Tune: “Turkey in the Straw”)
I looked out my window, and what did I see? (Hand over eyes.)
Popcorn popping on my cherry tree. (Hands on hips.)
What a surprise spring left for me—
Popcorn popping on my cherry tree.
Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. Pop! Pop! (Wiggle hips to the beat.)

Faster…super fast

Spring Tree
Trace around children’s hands and arms on a sheet of paper. Let them color or paint it. Glue popcorn on the branches to look like blossoms.
Hint! If you shake popcorn in a sack with a little dry red tempera paint it will look like pink blossoms.

Petal Bookmark
Go outside and collect petals and leaves that have fallen to the ground. Lay out a 7" strip of clear packaging tape for each child. They arrange their leaves and petals and then place another piece of tape on top. Seal, trim the ends, and you'll have a spring bookmark.