Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Poem for Arbor Day

Most states celebrate Arbor Day at some point in April, although the actual date varies somewhat. Arbor Day was started in Nebraska by J. Sterling Morton. Morton missed the trees he had known when he lived in Detroit, so he decided to start planting trees at his new home. In honor of the day, here’s a “tree” poem by Aileen Fisher.

Let’s Plant A Tree
by Aileen Fisher

It’s time to plant a tree, a tree.

What shall it be? What shall it be?

Let’s plant a pine—we can’t go wrong:

a pine is green the whole year long.

Let’s plant a maple—more than one,

to shade us from the summer sun.

Let’s plant a cherry—you know why:

there’s nothing like a cherry pie!

Let’s plant an elm, the tree of grace,

where robins find a nesting place.

Let’s plant an apple—not too small,

with flowers in spring and fruit in fall.

Let’s plant a fir—so it can be
a lighted outdoor Christmas tree.

Let’s plant a birch, an oak, a beech,

there’s something extra-nice in each…

in winter, summer, spring or fall.

Let’s plant a …

why not plant them ALL?

From: Hopkins, Lee Bennett, Ed. 1992. Ring Out, Wild Bells: Poems About Holidays And Seasons. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

*Invite the kids to cheer the words "Let's plant" at the beginning of each stanza; with practice, pairs of kids can each read aloud their own stanza; or create a paper version of pine, maple, cherry, elm, apple, fir and other trees mentioned in the poem and use them as "props" for the read aloud.

Happy Arbor Day!
And for a listing of more "tree" poems, check out my entry for April 22, 2007.

Picture credit:
media.collegepublisher.com and thanks to Nora Sanchez for poem-finding.

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