These powerful texts about spring will help your students connect with nature.
As the days get warmer, new life springs up around us. This time of year provides us with an important opportunity to reflect on our connection to nature and the world around us.
This multi-genre selection of texts is sure to get your students excited about the months to come and help them engage in meaningful analysis!
“Fame is a Bee” by Emily Dickinson (6th Grade)
In this short poem, Emily Dickinson uses the metaphor of a bee to describe fame. She writes that just like a bee, fame can leave quickly. This poem has a meaningful message that lends itself to deep analysis of the author’s point of view. Ask Discussion Question 3, “In the context of the text, what is good and how do we know it? Do you think fame is represented as a good thing or bad thing in this poem? Explain your ideas.”
“A Century of Blossoms” by Patricia A. Miller (6th Grade)
The National Cherry Blossom Festival marks the coming of spring in Washington D.C. But did you know that people were originally opposed to planting the trees? This informational text describes Eliza Scidmore’s contributions toward planting the Japanese cherry trees in D.C. Eliza campaigned tirelessly for the trees, leaving a lasting impact on D.C.’s landscape. After reading, students can discuss the impact of Eliza’s legacy.
“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth (7th Grade)
This famous poem explores how the beauty of nature brings people pleasure. The speaker feels a deep connection to the field dandelions he discovered on a walk, and the memory of the dandelions brings him joy for years to come. Students can analyze how the author uses specific words and phrases to create a cheerful mood.
“A Bird, Came Down the Walk” by Emily Dickinson (9th Grade)
In this poem, the speaker watches a bird. She uses breathtaking imagery to describe the bird’s flight after he sees her, which serves as a commentary on how people interact with the beauty of nature. After reading, students could use this text as a model and write their own poem about their relationship with nature using creative imagery.
“Messenger” by Mary Oliver (9th Grade)
In this poem, the speaker shows a deep appreciation for nature, saying that her work “is loving the world.” The speaker describes elements in nature before turning inward, describing herself and her feelings about aging. This poem provides a great opportunity for students to analyze how the author’s tone conveys her feelings about the world around her.
“Stravinsky’s Riotous ‘Rite of Spring’” by Miles Hoffman (10th Grade)
This text describes the impact of Igor Stravisky’s ballet about the sacrifice of a young girl to please the gods of spring. Despite audiences’ initial shock at the performance, today the piece is seen as fundamental to the development of modern music. This text provides students with the opportunity to reflect on changing times. Ask students to discuss why it can be challenging to create change, citing evidence from the text and their own experiences.
“Excerpt from “Nature” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (11th Grade)
In this excerpt, the author discusses humans’ relationship with nature. He marvels at nature’s grandness and believes that humans will never understand everything in nature but can still enjoy it. Ask students Discussion Question 1, “Have you ever felt uplifted by nature? If so, describe the experience,” and have them share their personal connections to nature.
Looking for more seasonal texts? Browse the CommonLit Library!
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