Tuesday Tale: Who Would Like a Christmas Tree? by Ellen Bryan Obed; Illustrated by Anne Hunter
December 22, 2009 in Art activities, Books with Science Content, Books with Science Content, Elementary Educators, Hunter Anne, Making Predictions, Obed Ellen Bryan, Picture Book, Reading Skills, Sequence Practice, Tuesday Tales Tags: Anne Hunter, Ellen Bryan Obed, teaching Christmas, teaching habitats, The Great Kapok Tree, Who Would Like a Christmas Tree?
by GraceFamily www.flickr.com
Teaching habitats or teaching Christmas can easily be done with this remarkably clever and cute picture book: Who Would Like a Christmas Tree?
*Picture book for preschoolers through second graders
*Animals on a Christmas Tree Farm as main characters
*Rating: Who Would Like a Christmas Tree? is one of those children’s Christmas books that can actually be used any time of the year, especially during a science unit on teaching habitats or food chains/webs. Cute! Cute! Cute!
Short, short summary: Who would like a Christmas tree in January? What a great question to start off this book that goes through each month of the year, explaining the animals who like to live on a Christmas tree farm until a family comes and cuts down a tree in December. For example, black-capped chickadees like Christmas trees in January because they find their food there and roost in the thick branches. Who would like a Christmas tree in July? Well, the wildflowers do because they like to grow in the same soil as the Christmas trees and some of them like the shade the trees provide. Who would like a Christmas tree in November? Wild turkeys–of course, and I’m sure they’re hoping not to be Thanksgiving dinner. The author includes some notes from an actual Christmas tree farmer at the end of the book for more educational opportunities. At Christmas time, this is a great book for “teaching Christmas” without teaching anything about the holiday that might get some parents upset. Teaching habitats or food webs is a great idea with this book also! Each page provides details and facts about the animal/plant/human and why they like the Christmas tree.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Make a calendar with the book. The picture for each month would be an illustration of the Christmas tree or Christmas tree farm with the animal/plant/human that would like it for that month. Children can illustrate the calendar, using Anne Hunter’s illustrations as an example. You can laminate these pictures and then put them together with a calendar for each month that you printed from your computer’s word processing program. This is a great activity for preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders who are doing calendar math, learning the order and spelling of the months, and figuring out which months are in which seasons.
2. As mentioned earlier, teaching habitats is super-easy with Who Would Like a Christmas Tree? Once you’ve read this book, your students or children have learned a great deal about a forest/Christmas tree farm. You can then read a book like The Great Kapok Tree, and you can compare and contrast the two books. With The Great Kapok Tree, students are learning about a rainforest habitat, and they are learning the animals, plants, and humans that rely on the tree and make up the habitat around it, just like they are with the Christmas tree book.
3. Since this book has a pattern with repeatable text, children can read along with the book. By looking at the cover, they can also try to predict what animals might like a Christmas tree in a certain month, or they can also predict why. This is a fun read-aloud, and children won’t even realize how much they are learning about an environment!