Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Log Hotel

Today I am linking up with Deanna for her wonderful We Love Books linky party. Thank you, Deanna, for hosting!

I love studying trees with my class.  I have a special place in my heart for trees, because growing up, my dad owned a sawmill.  He knew everything about every tree, and we loved playing in the sawdust pile and visiting the mill.  When my children were small, one of my favorite memories is hiking in the woods with my parents, while my dad taught my kids all about different trees.

These are some of my favorite books to read for our tree unit:


But my FAVORITE tree book  is:

In case you aren't familiar with the book, it is a wonderful story about an oak tree that falls in the woods and becomes a log. Animals and plants move in until the log decays and a new tree starts to grow.  It is another one of our FAVORITE circle stories!  

The book is great for retelling and sequencing.  The children love to remember which little insects or critters moved into the tree next.  

After we read and discuss this book, we get outside and look for our own log hotels. We have some beautiful trails behind our school, and when the weather is nice, I love to find reasons to take the kids outside to enjoy them.  It is amazing once you start looking for something, how many you find. We found lots of log hotels. We saw the insect, holes, fungi, everything the book talked about! (Minus the snake... phew!)  We also saw a baby chipmunk, beautiful spider webs, butterflies, and lots. of. mud. puddles.   Oh well.  Every so often, I had the children freeze so we could hear the birds.  They loved that. 


We collected some interesting things to take inside to our investigation trays to study with our magnifying glasses.  Last year, we were lucky to find a slice of a small tree trunk so we could really study the lines and even try to count them.

Another similar book that has beautiful illustrations is A Log's Life by Wendy Pfeffer. This is a fun follow-up book to read to review looking for those log hotels. 

Log Hotel is a fun book to read with your own children if your school is out.  You can probably even find lots more little animals outside (without 17 excited voices scaring them off!). 

I made these two simple papers to go with the book.  When we came inside, we drew and labeled our own log hotels.  If you would like them, just click on the picture below!  

 She even drew the NEW tree growing where the old tree had decayed!

Have fun and thank you for stopping by! I can't wait to see what other wonderful books are highlighted at Deanna's linky party this week. 


  1. Hi Carolyn!
    You've listed two of my favorite tree books, The Giving Tree and A Tree is Nice... However, I am new to Our Tree Named Steve. I'll have to look that one up since the title alone is intriguing.

    I'm envious of the nature area you have in back of your school. How wonderful that you and your kids can have such a lovely area to escape to when you need a break! I'm still moving in to my new space so I haven't had time to explore the grounds just yet.

    Enjoy the remainder of your week!

  2. Great suggestions and activities. Love the precious trail pictures. Pinned to my science board. Smiles! Jayne
    Smart Kids
    ABCs of Reading

  3. Oh, oh, oh. Carolyn, I love this post. Could just substitute my kids for yours in the photos because we have a woods that is actually part of school property and it is a wonderful resource. I try to go out once a month (ha) and take our sketchbooks to record all we see. I use A Log's Life, but didn't know about Log Hotel. I will use it next time, along with your freebie download. Thanks! :)
    Kidpeople Classroom


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