As tree leaves burst forth in beautiful springtime and trees reawaken, your children and teens can have fun discovering more about trees and use this research in their writing. Plus, there are MANY wonderful Scripture verses that can enhance your unit study on trees.
We see trees...
--from the beginning of the Bible, in the Garden of Eden, where God created trees pleasing to see and with food to eat. Two special trees were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9)
The Psalms begin with a majestic reference to trees and how they can inspire us to live holy lives. (Psalm 1:3)
Early in the New Testament trees show us to spiritually produce good fruit. (Matthew 3:8-10)
The Bible ends with powerful declarations and reference to the Tree of Life. (Revelation 22:1-3 and Revelation 2:7)
Looking for a good book to help your children…
Trees in the Bible: Learn About Trees While Exploring God’s Word by Kimberley Payne teaches children (ages 7-12) about trees and having faith in the Creator God. Each chapter includes a Bible story from the viewpoint of the tree. This book integrates faith and science, with suggested projects.
I have always loved trees. One might say it’s because my last name is Vertrees and my maiden name, Tamm, means oak tree in Estonian. When I was young, I had a little sign that said--Please be patient with me. God isn’t finished with me yet. A mighty oak was once a little nut.
When hiking in the woods, it’s such a thrill to look up high and see beautiful treetops against the sky…to treasure God and His majesty here on earth.
In CS Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, we read about trees dancing and defending God’s creation. Also, author JRR Tolkien made trees significant in Lord of the Rings. Both these famous Christian authors knew the importance of trees in God’s creation. It’s said they were keen on everyone protecting our environment, too. The Bible says we are to be wise stewards of the earth.
Both were devout, brilliant men. I am sure they intended important Biblical connections to their use of trees in their allegory stories. Chronicles of Narnia begins in a “wardrobe” made by a tree and it’s a tree that’s the first thing Lucy brushes up against when she enters the land of Narnia…just before she sees the lamp post in the snow…God’s light, right? And don’t we all want to enter a land that’s embraced by the Tree of Life?
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
(Isaiah 55:12 NIV)
In recent times, amazing research has borne “fruit” that TREES TALK TO EACH OTHER!
I invite you to see these fascinating National Geographic and TEDx talks on YouTube to learn about this exciting scientific discovery and why we need to protect our forests. (Just tap titles to connect.)
1. How Trees Secretly Talk to Each Other in the Forest
2. Nature’s Internet: How Trees Talk to each other in a Healthy Forest
FUN WAYS TO LEARN THROUGH DISCOVERY
The trees of the LORD are well cared for…there the birds make their nests…
(Psalm 104: 16-17)
Both trees can live for 3,000 years! Perhaps your young writers want to write a “compare and contrast” about these two spectacular trees.
For the child who wants to write an adventure story
When I was young, I did a poor job of building a treehouse in --of all trees--our beautiful and fragile pink dogwood. My Dad lovingly overlooked my temporarily botching up his ornamental, front yard tree and understood my longing for adventure. Then he built a sturdier treehouse in a high, strong tree in our backyard. My brothers and sisters and I certainly enjoyed it. (It’s the black and white photo I took when I was ten. 😊)
As I write this, I am perched on our upstairs balcony and once again am enjoying the beautiful trees (twenty-two varieties!) and birds all about. Some things never change! 😊
Dear readers, please consider how children in your lives can have enriching experiences with trees. They may love helping to plant small trees and watching them grow in your yards.
Have they swung on a rope to splash into a deep, beautiful lake, with the rope strapped to a sturdy tree branch? Maybe they have a fun place to read in the shade of a favorite tree. How about rocking in a hammock that’s tied between trees in your yard or when camping?
But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.
Even in old age, they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
To help your children internalize this message deeper, they can rewrite it into their own words.
Father God, I will burst forth and be a beautiful sight for all to see--like palm trees that are so inviting in a desert oasis.
I will grow strong like the Cedars of Lebanon.
By following God, I will grow like trees that grow by God’s house,
I will continue to grow under His care, in His garden.
I will live a ripe, old age, like trees that continue to produce fruit.
May I produce fruit of the spirit. (See Galatians 5:22-23.)
May I remain vital, important, and ever-growing as I cling to my Lord…
My rock and my salvation.
HERE ARE BIBLE VERSES you may want to include in a unit study on trees…
Jeremiah 17:7-8 “…blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord…like a tree planted by the water…its leaves are always green.” (NIV)
Psalm 1:3 Those persons are “…like a tree planted by streams…whatever they do prospers.” (NIV)
The Tree of Life in Scripture often is mentioned as eternal life with Jesus. “I am the vine, you are the branches…” (John 15:5) A Bible study on this could start with Genesis 3:22-24 and Revelation 2:7. (Plus Genesis 2:9 & Revelation 22:1-3 mentioned earlier in this post.)
Developmentally speaking, children can easily memorize Bible verses, poems, and songs. By learning these treasures "by heart," they can draw on them all their lives.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
(Psalm 119:105 KJV)
,I hope your children cherish trees, and learn to protect these magnificent gifts from God.
When I was young, I read Joyce Kilmer’s poem, “Trees” and frankly, assumed it was written by a woman. Not so! Mr. Kilmer lived from 1886-1919 and was tragically killed in WW1. His beautiful legacy, “Trees” is in the public domain, and as I close this post, I share it with you.
By Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Yes, only God can make a tree,
Blessings to you,
Victor Survives Being a Kid!
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