Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bee green: taking an eco approach to your storytime! :) happy earth day!

With such an emphasis on recycling and eco-awareness, I thought it might be useful to type up a quick post about one of my all-time favorites, The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest by Lynne Cherry.  This is a timeless tale about the Amazon Rainforest and the intricate ecosystems that thrive within it.  Children will learn quickly just how delicate the balance of life is in the rainforest with the progression of the story. 

The story begins with a man who wanders into the rainforest with the intention of chopping down a beautiful old kapok tree, a source of life for many animals who inhabit the rainforest.  Due to the intense heat of the rainforest, he falls asleep and while snoozing the afternoon away, a series of animals each whisper in his ear different reasons why he should not cut down the ancient tree.  The rhythm of the text makes for an enjoyable read, and the illustrations are beyond beautiful.   

One of the things I like best about this story is that you can take so many differnet approaches to an accompanying post-story craft.  For example, kids could...

  • out the roles of the animals that talk to the man. little kids thrive on movement and really, how awesome would it be to hop around the storytime space as a bright green dart frog?!?!?!

  • create their own tree ecosystem...have a kapok tree already created for them--from there, they can draw the different animals that live in or near the tree.  kids could get really creative with this
Happy Earth Day, everyone!