The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom by Lita Judge

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Trees have stories, too! The story of a tree is a story of community, communication, and cooperation. They form a network buzzing with life: they talk, share food, raise their young, and offer protection. Trees not only sustain life on our planet – they can also teach us important lessons about patience, survival, and teamwork.

Lesson Idea:

Mentor Text: Nonfiction Poetry

The Wisdom of Trees is a fascinating combination of nonfiction prose and poetry. Through this structure, Lita Judge invites readers to learn about the science, chemistry, and growth of trees through thorough research and engaging details. Labeled diagrams and lush illustrations accompany the text and highlight the connectivity of forests. The back matter includes additional background on each poem and how that poem reflects real-life science.

There is so much here that I would love to unpack with students in writer’s workshop. I recommend using this as a model text for students to research a science topic and create their own combination of nonfiction prose and poetry to share their learning with others. This book is a natural invitation for children to do so!  

©2021 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.


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