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Monday, April 28, 2014

Poetry, Trees and Bees

April is National Poetry Month and last Friday, April 18th was Arbor Day. We have been doing things for both of these and today I thought I would share them. A few weeks ago Hazel got her first (and second) bee sting. I went to the library looking for books on bees. The children's librarian suggested some poetry including Unbeelievables by Douglas Florian.


This book has various poems about bees and then gives details about the information shared in the poem. It is a wonderful way for children to learn more about the positive sides of bees. We learned that male bees do not sting, only females do. The male bees or drones main purpose in life is to fertilize the queen bee's eggs. 


While in the poetry section I found a few more poetry books to check out. We really enjoyed reading Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow by Joyce Sidman. There would be two poems with the question of "Who am I?" or something similar at the end and then the next pages would give details about the animals or things that were described in the poems. Hazel asked to get this one out again.
We also got a few others out that we have not read yet. They are Fold Me a Poem by Kristine O'Connell George (I wanted to try the origami with Hazel), Insectlopedia: Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian and Seeds, Bees, Butterflies and More! Poems for Two Voices by Carole Gerber (the librarian recommended this one).

Last Thursday the craft at the library was in honor of Arbor Day on Friday. I did not take Hazel with me since she was spending the day with Nonni, but I saw what they did and knew we could do it at home. Hazel also happened to ask last week to learn more about trees, so I was actually going to the library to look for books on trees. The craft was to cut a toilet paper roll in half and glue it down as your trunk. Then use green tissue paper for the leaves and they had sequins for flowers or apples or whatever. I used buttons. I gave Hazel lots of supplies to choose from and she came up with her own version. I did mine after her, so she would not get any ideas from me.


I found some stories about trees which we have been enjoying. 

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid, we actually did artwork with this book last summer. Mighty Tree by Dick Gackenbach is a story about four tree seeds and what happens to each tree. One tree remains and keeps spreading its seeds. One thing I did not like is the seeds looked like maple seeds and the tree looked like a pine. The Family Tree by David McPhail is a wonderful tale about a boy who saves the tree, that his ancestors left when they built their farm, from being taken down for the road. Someday a Tree by Eve Bunting is about a tree that a family loves and they discover one day that it has been poisoned. The community comes together to help them try to save the tree, but it is too late. The girl however plants some of the acorns she collected from the tree near the dying tree so someday there will be another great oak.

We also took some books out to learn about trees. We have not read them yet, but the two above I think will be best. They are Be a Friend to Trees by Patricia Lauber and Tell Me, Tree All about Trees for Kids by Gail Gibbons.

So that is what we have been up to. Have you read any good children's poetry this month or learned about trees?