Friday, December 18, 2015

A Christmas Poem

Can you believe that Christmas is next week? If you celebrate, do you decorate a Christmas tree? I love the tree tradition and I have several different ones in my house (including an aluminum tree with Star Wars ornaments!). But this poem by Joseph Bruchac from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations captures the simple beauty of a live tree. 

And if you'd like to use the Take 5 activities from the book that accompany this poem, here you go:
1. If possible, set the stage with the smell of a Christmas tree—with live branches, scented air freshener, or a pine-scented candle (if allowed). Then read the poem slowly with a pause after each stanza.
2. Read the poem aloud again and invite children to chime in on the repeated and crucial word "tree."
3. Work together to draw a picture or create a collage of a Christmas tree based on the details in this poem (green branches, colored balls, lights, star). Then read the poem aloud again together.  
4. Pair this poem with the picture book Christmas Tree! by Florence and Wendell Minor (HarperCollins, 2005) and identify all the different kinds of Christmas trees pictured in the illustrations.
5.  Match this poem with “Oh Summer Books” by Diana Murray (June, pages 162-163) because of the tune connection (“O Tannenbaum”), “Tree Day Celebration” by Ibtisam Barakat (April, pages 104-105), and poems from Winter Trees by Carole Gerber (Charlesbridge, 2008), or link to Christmas poems with Manger edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Eerdmans, 2014).

This is just one of a dozen December holiday poems from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. Of course we also have poems for Chanukah, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve, too, among other special occasions this month. And of course we have even more poems for a dozen holidays in EVERY month of the year, January through December. Get your copy now and be ready for 2016!

Meanwhile, join the Poetry Friday fray over at Random Noodling where Diane is hosting the festivities! 


Diane Mayr said...

I'm checking to see if we have a copy of Winter Trees at the library. I enjoy checking out your recommendations of companion reading. Happy Holidays!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Diane,
Thanks for stopping by. So glad you enjoy the "companion" recommendations! I love making those connections and I'm so glad they're useful!
Happy holidays to you too!

Mary Lee said...

I haven't had a tree for several years now. Spending half my break at mom's makes the time and trouble seem like too much. But I do miss my ornaments and all the stories and memories they hold. Maybe next year!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Mary Lee,
I understand completely. I love a house decorated for Christmas, but it is also a huge chore! Some years you just skip it. One alternative that works for me is to take a few of my favorite ornaments and put them in a pretty bowl or basket-- just like a basket of fruit only it's ornaments. That makes me happy!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a restful break and all the best in 2016!

Charles Waters said...

VARDELL POWER once again graces us this holiday season, and we are better for it!