Trees by Shirley Bauer
The poem “Trees” by Shirley Bauer is about all the great things that can be done with trees. It says that trees give birds places to live and kids places to play. They’re great for making treehouses, swinging on swings and playing games like ‘Hide and Seek’. In the summer, trees provide shade, and they can also be used to catch kites. Apples and pears are among the foods they grow. People shout “TIMBER-R-R!” when they see trees being cut down. At the end of the poem, it says that trees can be the subject of beautiful art. In a funny way, the poem says that trees can be cut down, which makes fathers think about all the leaves they’ll have to rake.
The theme of this poem is to show how important and useful trees are in our lives. It shows all the different ways we use trees, from playing and hiding behind them to getting warmth from them and eating their fruit. The poem also shows in a playful way how mothers and dads see trees differently. Mothers see their beauty, while fathers see the work of raking leaves. Overall, the song praises the many things trees do for us and how they make our lives happier and more useful.
Questions and Answers of Trees
What are the games or human activities which use trees, or in which trees also “participate” ?
Some games or human activities that use trees or in which trees also “participate” include building tree houses, swinging on swings, playing “Hide and Seek” behind trees, having tea parties under trees, and getting kites caught in trees.
(i) “Trees are to make no shade in winter.” What does this mean ? (Contrast this line with the line immediately before it.)
(ii) “Trees are for apples to grow on, or pears.” Do you agree that one purpose of a tree is to have fruit on it ? Or do you think this line is humorous ?
(i) “Trees are to make no shade in winter.” This line means that during winter, when the leaves have fallen off, trees do not provide shade as they do in summer. This contrasts with the line immediately before it, which mentions trees being for making cool shade in summer.
(ii) The line “Trees are for apples to grow on, or pears” suggests that one purpose of a tree is to bear fruit. It’s possible that this line carries a humorous tone, as it simplifies the complex roles that trees play in ecosystems.
With the help of your partner, try to rewrite some lines in the poem, or add new ones of your own as in the following examples.
Trees are for birds to build nests in.
Trees are for people to sit under.
Now try to compose a similar poem about water, or air.
Sure, here are a couple of new lines for the poem:
Trees are for squirrels to climb up high.
Trees are for lovers to carve their names.
Trees are to tell stories to, by the campfire’s light.
Now, let’s try to create a similar poem about water:
Water is for fish to swim within.
Water is for boats to gently sail.
Water is to cool us on a hot day’s whim.
Water is to shape landscapes, never frail.
And for air:
Air is for birds to soar and glide.
Air is for kites to dance up high.
Air is to breathe, a life’s precious guide.
Air is to whisper secrets, passing by.
Dialogue Based on the Poem Trees
Student A: What are some games or activities involving trees that the poem mentions?
Student B: The poem talks about using trees for making tree houses, swinging on swings, playing hide and seek, and having tea parties under them.
Student A: What does the line “Trees are to make no shade in winter” mean?
Student B: It means in winter, trees don’t have leaves to provide shade, unlike in summer. It’s a contrast with the previous line that talks about trees giving cool shade.
Student A: Do you think the line “Trees are for apples to grow on, and pears” is humorous?
Student B: Yes, it’s a bit funny. It suggests that one purpose of trees is to bear fruit, but the way it’s phrased adds a playful touch.
Student A: Can we add or rewrite lines in the poem?
Student B: Sure, let’s try: “Trees are for birds to sing in,” and “Trees are for climbing up high.”
Student A: Now, let’s make a similar poem about water or air.
Student B: “Water is for splashing and swimming fun,” and “Air is for flying kites under the sun.”