Christmas trees, deciduous trees, evergreen trees, cookie trees! We had fun learning about evergreen trees in our Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Nature Book Club this month!
Christmas trees, deciduous trees, evergreen trees, cookie trees! We had fun learning about evergreen trees in our Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Nature Book Club this month! #onlinebookclub #la4k #ihsnet #naturebookclub
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Book Club Inspiration
This month our book club was inspired by the book, Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. This is a favorite book from my childhood. It is about an evergreen tree that is recycled so many times that it becomes a Christmas tree for seven different human and animal families.
This sweet story teaches children not only about the magic of having a Christmas tree, but also about the value of conservation and recycling. Underlying the entire story is the belief that all of us are the same in some ways no matter if we live in a mansion or a tiny mouse hole.
Christmas Tree Book Club Snacks
Some other fun snacks might be Christmas tree brownies (my kids' favorites), green punch, tree sticks (pretzels), or Christmas tree cakes.
While the children snacked, I read them the story of Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree. They began to guess the next part of the story and giggled when someone new chopped off the top of the Christmas tree.
This month's nature book club is during the holiday season, so a celebration of Christmas trees seemed in order. We set our table with different Christmas trees. Then we had some snacks of Christmas tree cookies, grapes, and Christmas tree tops (Bugles). The Christmas tree tops were a play on Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree story where the top of the Christmas tree is trimmed to create new Christmas trees for smaller creatures.
Evergreen Tree Nature Book Club Activities
Because Mr. Willowby's tree is an evergreen tree, we decided to learn a little about these types of trees. First, we discussed the differences between deciduous trees and evergreen trees. Since the leaves have recently fallen in our part of the world, it was easy for the children to identify deciduous trees.
And, since the only green trees about the neighborhood were evergreen trees, they were just as easily recognizable. But, there are many different types of evergreen trees.
So, before our nature book club, I decided to make a run to a local gardening center. I was able to pick up some small evergreen trees of different types. The manager was also nice enough to give me some cuttings from some of the larger trees he had available.
The students observed the stickiness of the sap, the "pokiness" of the leaves and the minty like smell of the Fraser Fir. Some even observed that the trees made a scratchy noise when we shook them.
Then, they wrote all of their observations down and then drew a picture of their samples before packing them for home.
We passed around the small plants and gave the children a chance to feel, smell and observe them. Then each child received a cutting of one of the larger plants.
They took out their nature journals and made some observations by using almost all of their senses (we opted out of tasting them, though, I believe one or two of the boys did try to lick some sap).
Memories sparked by the smell of an evergreen tree...
My favorite part of this nature book club was observing the children as they tried to determine the smell of the evergreen tree clippings. I realized I couldn't describe the smell other than to say it smelled like Christmas.
It brought up memories of my grandparents' home and the smell of the tree they would cut from their own land. My grandmother always decorated with blue and silver ornaments and a wooden nativity set. But, that fresh pine scent permeated her tiny living room and embodied the smell of Christmas for me. And, so, as I smelled the cuttings with the children, my eyes became a little misty and I may have become lost to Christmases long ago.
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Online Nature Book Club
We loved exploring evergreen trees in our nature book club. Would you like to join in on the fun?
Go on a nature trek with us based on the book, Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. During this online book club, we will go on rabbit trails of discovery about the trees, Christmas and otherwise. We will find ways to learn by experiencing parts of the book through hands on activities.
We will add a little nature study magic dust and go on outdoor adventures into nature.
At the conclusion of the story, we will have a "party school" celebrating evergreen trees.
Take a Sneak Peek into our Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Online Nature Book Club below.
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Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…