(Originally posted for Earth Day in April 2012, this activity is also a winner for Dr. Seuss Week!)
In my last post, I recycled produce containers and paper bags to create birds nests for a Spring language activity. Today, I continue my tribute to Earth Day with my interpretation of Truffula Trees from the wonderful book and movie, “The Lorax,” by Dr. Seuss. I saw this movie with my son and walked away from it with a deeper respect and appreciation for Mother Earth. Truffula Trees are super easy to make in the classroom or at home. Get creative with the tree trunks and experiment with different fruits. And please send me your feedback and pictures too!!!….I’d love to know how your trees turned out!
**always check for food allergies before making any hands-on projects involving food (yes, even fruit!)
Questions to help elicit conversation while creating your trees in the classroom—-
What else does cotton candy remind you of in nature?
Describe how cotton candy feels.
What happens when you put it in your mouth (how does it change?)
What events is cotton candy sold at?
FOR STORY COMPREHENSION: After reading the story with your students, check out these questions. (most appropriate for upper elementary/middle school)
Search the book for words that contain speech sounds that your students are working on. Have them repeat the words, phrases and sentences containing their speech sounds.
i.e.: for /l/ sound practice I came up with these words:
LORAX— TRUFFULA— BARBALOOTS— ONCE-LER— GRICKLE GRASS— UNLESS!
Long cocktail stirrers are rounded at the ends and safe for little hands to use! Toothpicks are sharp so be careful if you use them!
No need to make them exactly as shown in the picture—Kids can determine how to pattern the “tree trunks.”
Take a vote prior to purchasing your materials–ask your students to help you brainstorm a list of possibilities—-the two most popular items can be the ones you purchase–this will keep things simple and cost-effective for you!
Some “tree trunk” possibilities: red grapes, strawberry chunks, raspberries, marshmallows…use your imagination!!
Can you come up with a list of different types of trees with your students?
Go online and search for images of various trees. Print them out and label them.
Put your print outs into a binder or staple together to make a book of trees. If your school is located on property that has surrounding trees, take a nature walk with your students (weather and season permitting!)and see how many you can identify from your book of trees.
If you spot a Truffula tree, please be sure to take a picture and send it to me!!!