Lemon Trees and Poetry

The expression about life giving you lemons rings all too true for my sister-in-law, who inherited two lemon trees when they bought their new house two years ago and now has more lemons than she can count. So her gift to pretty much everyone this winter? A pitcher filled with lemons and a recipe for lemonade! It's an interesting twist, really, drinking fresh lemonade in the winter, but my youngest is having great fun with our new juicer in one hand and a juicy lemon in the other. Care to share your favorite lemon recipe?

My latest bulletin board creation was made in collaboration with my daughter Kaitlyn, who donated her time and talent to make a tree for me, and Elizabeth over at Fun in Room 4B whose Poetry Unit sparked the idea to make my Haiku board interactive. It was fun to hear my students' reactions as the went passed me in the halls; one of them asked if I was going to be teaching poetry now. Well, not really, but I do enjoy sealing the deal with a little ditty or poem now and again. When I asked a second grader who was passing by if he knew what type of poem this was, to my surprise and delight, he responded, "A character poem!" Well, sort of. There is an underlying message about connecting and understanding. 

Really, I just liked the idea of a poet-tree new year's board after I wrote that Holiday Haiku post over break. I was planning it in my head but I wasn't sure exactly how it'd all come together. That's when I saw Elizabeth's post about her Poetry Laptops and she shared it with me and it was perfect because it gave me the idea to make my display interactive, to list five forms of poetry and hide them underneath a flap with the description/question about it. I used my 3-D jungle border which sparked Wild About Poetry. We had a pre-fab palm tree as an option, but Kaitlyn came to school with me and decided that she could make a tree that would fit with my idea to use caterpillars. She threw out the idea to use butterflies and voila, we had a cute combo. So five of the leaves have the five forms of poetry - haiku, acrostic, ballad, tanka (this one was new to me!) and limerick. The caterpillars and butterflies have the descriptions of the type of poetry on the top (kind of as challenges) and the corresponding type (the answer) under the flap.

Don't forget to head back to Monday's post and enter the giveaway for an author-signed copy of Maria Dismondy's The Potato Chip Champ {here} if you haven't already. Winner will be announced in Saturday's post.


  1. The poet tree is wonderful. We use a tree in first grade to represent seasonal changes but I may adopt your idea to incorporate animal life cycles. I LOVE key lime pie, but often substitute lemons, recipe is super simple; make a graham wafer crust and fill with lemon juice , condensed milk and egg yolks. Bake and top with fresh meringue, broil to brown.

  2. Hey Barbara,
    I'm just now checking in on this post! The tree looks fabulous! I love that your kids think you will now be teaching them poetry. I am inspired to make a tree now, too! Thanks for the shout-out, my sweet friend :)


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