Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tree Lady

This year at school we have been talking a lot about having our kids become more familiar with people who have accomplished something in their lifetimes.  I could probably just say we are adding books to our biography collection, which we are, but in addition to adding books to our collection, we are also hoping that by reading and discussing a wide variety of these biographies we will encourage our students to strive for something more than a lifetime of working in a fast food restaurant.

It is interesting to hear from students what they plan to be when they grow up.  Sadly, most of the students at my school don't have high expectations.  They know more people that have done jail time than have gone to college.  

So, I have been reading quite a few biographies to my students - and to my girls at home who preview them with me.  

The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins, illustrated by Jill McElmurry was our latest night-time read (after the chapter books I am working on with them).  

Kate Sessions was born in 1857 - a time when women weren't supposed to be getting their hands dirty.  Kate, however, had different ideas.  She didn't give in to the expected role she was supposed to play, instead loving science and plants.  She attended college where she was the only woman to graduate with a degree in science.  She moved to San Diego and began to investigate how to plant and help trees grow in this habitat.

Kate Sessions is still known as The Mother of Balboa Park, one of many honors she received for her work in horticultural science.

My girls enjoy biographies, excited by the fact that they are "true stories."  Sessions is inspiring for several reasons - one that I will highlight to my students is that she succeeded doing something she was passionate about.  The Tree Lady is an interesting book about a new-to-me pioneer.


Ti said...

I think it's great that you are exposing your students to the possibilities that are out there.

I had a challenging childhood and really, had nothing but degenerates hanging around me but even in that atmosphere, there were some good people like the fanatical preacher guy who helped me out more than once or the librarian that handed me adult books when I said that I could not connect with the children's books.

danielle @ this picture book life said...

Yes! Love The Tree Lady!