Christmas is my favorite holiday and not a minute past Thanksgiving do I to start decorating, listening to Christmas music and baking Christmas cookies. I also love birthdays, so it is no surprise that our Lord’s birthday tops the list.
This weekend Tim and I will take the kids to go cut down a real Christmas tree. It is a tradition that my family has been doing since I was a kid. We support a local Christmas tree farm family: Log Cabin Pines, right here in Elko, MN. The smell of fresh pine in the house is amazing. I also enjoy curling up in a chair near the lit tree with a cup of tea listening to Christmas music. I digress, this post is suppose to be about teacher resources.
Christmas Trees; Science, Math and Language
I collect Christmas books, some secular some religious.
One of my favorite Christmas stories (besides Farm Country Christmas Eve) is A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe. This beautiful story is about an old spruce tree that was never chosen by a family. You can watch a video of the book being read here
The tree becomes very sad, but woodland creatures try to explain to him how valuable he is to them by providing food and shelter.
The woodland creatures cheer him up by decorating him for Christmas, using berries and other items from nature. Along the way the old tree realizes the real meaning of friendship.
What a heart warming story! It also shows the great value in Christmas trees whether they are chosen or not.
Story follow up: Ask the students simple questions to promote comphrension
- Where do families got to cut down Christmas trees? -Farm, field, etc
- Why was the old tree sad? -not chosen, wanted to be a Christmas tree
- How does the old tree help other forest animals? -food, shelter
- How did the forest animals help the old tree?- decorated him
DYK: Minnesota Christmas tree farm families raise and cut about 500,000 trees each year. For every tree harvested 1-3 seedlings are planted in its place. Making Christmas trees a very renewable and sustainable resource. (source: MN Grown)
DYK: One acre of Christmas trees can remove 8,000 pounds of carbon from the air. Younger trees do a better job of removing carbon, so as Christmas trees get cut and replaced, more carbon is being removed vs just letting the trees live longer. (source: MN Christmas Tree Association).
Want to learn more?
The National Christmas Tree Association, along with experienced teachers and a grant through the USDA, have put together a great website to integrate learning about Christmas trees in your classroom or home. REAL Trees 4 Kids website has curriculum and activities for grades K-12. This a great FREE resource for teachers.
Are you decorating a real Christmas tree this year?