In the Fifth Grade


The first three stanzas of the poem below are from a poem Grade Five read as part of our Botany studies.  It inspired us to reflect on other reasons that trees are important and the following stanzas are the writing of each fifth grader.

 

What do we Plant?  by Henry Abbey

 

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

We plant the ship that will cross the sea.

We plant the mast to carry the sails;

We plant the planks to withstand the gales –

The keel, the keelson, the beam, the knee;

We plant the ship when we plant the tree.

 

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

We plant the houses for you and me.

We plant the rafters, the shingles, the floors,

We plant the studding, the lath, the doors,

The beams and siding, all parts that be;

We plant the house when we plant the tree.

 

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

A thousand things that we daily see;

We plant the spire that out-towers the crag,

We plant the staff for our country’s flag,

We plant the shade, from the hot sun free;

We plant all these when we plant the tree.

 

Sebastian-

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

We plant the books that let our minds free.

We plant authors like Dickens and Vern,

We plant the things about plants and fern,

A bookstore is where you might find me;

We plant the books when we plant the tree.

 

Amelia-

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

We plant the fire that bakes our cookie.

We plant the coals that litter the ground,

We plant the campfire with stones around,

The sticks and the matches to make our tea;

We plant the fire when we plant the tree.

 

Toby-

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

We plant the air that everyone breathes.

We plant the breeze that will fan the flame,

We plant the wind of the storm that came.

We plant the nests for the bird and bee;

We plant the air when we plant the tree.

 

Brianna-

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

We make the chairs that are fit for me.

We make the furniture out of bark,

We plant the beds where we watch the dark.

The desks, the chairs, the shelves that hold tea;

We plant all these when we plant the tree.

 

Mrs. Wiegman-

What do we plant when we plant the tree?

We plant the home for all families.

We plant for the squirrels, the birds, the deer,

We plant for their safety without fear.

The turtle, the moose and even the bee;

We plant their homes when we plant the tree.

 

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