Celebrate the Wonder of Nature!



Those of us here in the Northeast are hunkered down inside warm homes today while the rain, sleet, and snow plummet us with a winter storm.  A good day for kids to draw … and, what a good way to celebrate the seasons! I have been a Thomas Locker (author/illustrator) fan for many years and Sky Tree is one of my favorite books.

Before-reading: Talk about the seasons.  What happens to animals, trees, and plants during the different seasons?  How do animals prepare for winter?  What do people do to prepare for winter? How are the other seasons different? What colors do we  expect to see in the different seasons?

Vocabulary:  disappeared, sap, snapper (turtle), uncurled, hillside, huddled, snug, drifted, squabbled, glistened

During-reading:  Follow the same tree through the seasons and watch how it changes in the illustrations.  The text on each page follows the changes in the tree and some of the animals found in the yard.  I read that Thomas Locker painted a tree outside his New England home during the changing seasons.  What did he do to show those changes? On the bottom of each page, there is a question.  For example, on the snowy, icy tree, “How does this painting capture the stillness of a snowy day?

After-reading:  Even if you don’t have the book, place an order  – I hope you use Amazon Prime for quick, free delivery! http://www.amazon.com Choose one or more seasons.  Draw or paint it, thinking about the colors and feelings you get with each season.  Do you feel crunchy, orange and red leaves under your feet?  Are pink and purple flowers popping up on a warm spring day?  Write a small poem telling about what is happening in your seasonal drawing.  What can you do in your yard, porch, or window sill to celebrate Nature at your home?  Can you make a little bird feeder?  Can you gather leaves and paste them into a picture?  Can you gather flowers and make a hanging decoration for the door?

For today, just enjoy the drawing/painting.  Order the book in paperback and celebrate Nature in all its wonder!