Meet Grandforest Tree

Meet Grandforest Tree.  He lives in our Environmental Center Classroom, and he has many tales to tell.  We love to listen to him tell us stories about nature and the environment.  He has a really neat voice.  We also like to try to find the different creatures which make their home in Grandforest Tree.  If you look carefully, you will find a bat, preying mantis, a 5 lined skink, an opossum, a raccoon, a snail, ants, and much more!  We like to use the puppets and tell our own stories just like Grandforest Tree.


Click here to see pictures of children with Grandforest Tree


Below is a list of some of the stories he tells us.


To Be a Tree -imagery on the parts of a tree

Why Squirrel Hops Between the Trees - myth of how the squirrel lost his wings

The Butterfly Creature - butterfly description

Become a Nature Lover - use our 5 senses to observe a tree

For the Birds - a story about a bird who didn't migrate south

The Butterfly Tree - monarch migration

Forgotten Forest - planting trees for Arbor Day

Petra the Impatient Pupa - metamorphosis

Home Again, Home Again - collecting animals from the wild

A Tree is a Home - habitats

Celia's Jewels - spider webs

Predators - Are They the Bad Guys?

Flying Feathers - migrating south

To Be An Ant

To Be A Seed

The Tale of the Wartville Wizard - littering

First Day in the Desert

The Rotten Log - animal habitats

A Special Time of Day - nocturnal animals

Zapus - care of animals

Rabbits and Foxes - predators and prey

Trees Are Important - products from trees

We Are Sun Powered - food chains


grandforesttree.gif (89567 bytes)When I was doing a unit on Environmental Storytelling I discovered a wonderful book called Exploring the Forest With Grandforest Tree.  (Click on the book and you will go to Acorn Naturalists where I purchased it.) This book had wonderful stories in it.  When we built the Environmental Classroom I wanted to make a full size model of Grandforest Tree.  One of the teachers at our school had her husband provide the voice for Grandforest Tree.  There are many more stories I have collected for him to put on tape.  We always begin the tapes with "Hello everyone, I am Grandforest Tree and I am very old and very wise, and I have many tales to tell."  The primary children love listening to his tapes, and the upper grade children have created a number of stories for Grandforest Tree to tell which we are going to put onto tapes.

Whenever anyone sees Grandforest Tree, they always ask me how he was made.  The basic trunk and major limbs were built for me by the Alabama Shakespeare Theatre set designer.  He brought the tree to the room in three pieces and finished the assembly in the classroom. I do know that he has a wooden base and that the major limbs are made out of chicken wire which is covered with a material like canvas which was draped in stiffening liquid. The designer painted the trunk and face of Grandforest Tree.  The cost for the basic trunk and three major limbs was $970.00.   I collected branches from trash piles in front of people's houses and attached them to the limbs of the tree.  Basically I punched holes in the limbs and used hot glue to secure them in place.  In the case of some of the larger limbs, I used monofilament hanging from the ceiling to give extra support.  I ordered an entire case of oak leaves from a floral supply company, drilled holes onto the branches, and individually glued the leaves onto the branches.  I added insects, spider webs, a real bird nest, and anything else I could find to make the tree more interesting.


My Favorite Story

The Good Earth Tellers - A unit on Environmental Storytelling


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