Many Ways We Tell Our Stories: The Trees
“Sometimes a tree can tell you more than can be read in a book.” —Carl Jung
Do trees make sound? Do they talk amongst themselves? Do they talk to us?
What do they tell us? The season of the year? Their life story? The tale of the surrounding community?
Here are a few photos from my collection:
Sit by a tree. Just sit. Can you hear or feel the humming inside the trunk? That’s the sap. It might be rising or falling.
Who lives in the tree you are sitting next to?
Collect as many parts of the trees you can find that have fallen on the ground. Arrange your collection. Make a collage.
Make a list of the parts and how each looks or feels. Select from your list and make a list poem.
Make a list of all the ways you use parts from a tree in just one day—think about furniture, books, toys, shelter, school, writing ….
Grab a camera or your phone and wander through your neighborhood, or when you’re on a vacation, and take photos of the interesting trees you find. When you get home, label them so you remember where you met those trees. Do the photos suggest a story to you?
CelebriTrees: Historical & Famous Trees of the World, Margi Preus, illus. by Rebecca Gibbon, Henry Holt, 2011
Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest, written and illustrated by Lynne Cherry, HMH Books for Children, 2000
Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park, written and illustrated by Ashley Benham Yazdani, Candlewick, 2019
Lost Forest, Phyllis Root, illus. by Betsy Bowen, University of Minnesota Press, 2019
North Woods Girl, Aimée Bissonette, illus. by Claudia McGehee, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2015
Redwoods, written and illustrated by Jason Chin, Square Fish, Macmillan, 2017
Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors, David George Haskell, Penguin, 2018. This book is written for grown-up readers but they would make wonderful stories to adapt for your own storytelling.
Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown-Ups, Gina Ingoglia, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 2013
Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Lady Changed a City Forever, H. Joseph Hopkins, illus. by Jill McElmurry, Beach Lane Books, 2013
Trees: A Rooted History, Piotr Socha, illus. by Wojciech Grajkowski, Harry N. Abrams Books, 2019
Trees, Leaves, and Bark (a Take-Along Guide), Diane Burns, Cooper Square Publishing
Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Trees, Patricia Daniels, National Geographic Children’s Books, 2017
Enjoy these websites and news articles:
Conserve Natural Forests, a non-profit organization