31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Dogwood Blossom…
Literature and legends bloom with FLOWERS, from lovely little nursery rhymes to sophisticated epic poetry. Knowing the names of flowers, the references to flowers, the symbols of flowers, the language of flowers gives kids a blooming head start in understanding literature and enhancing literacy.
Each day in May, a FLOWER will be presented here at 31 Days. 31 Flowers – 31 Ways to engage your kids in literature, literacy and life in just a few moments a day. Enjoy!
May Flowers: The Dogwood Blossom
The Dogwood Blossom is said to symbolize durability because of the strength of the Dogwood Tree itself. The Dogwood Tree has been used to manufacture such strong things as bobbins, pestles, wheel spokes, butcher’s skewers, dowels, baseball bats, shingles, angler poles, toothpicks and cabinet work.
The most famous story of the Dogwood Blossom has Christian origins as a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ. Legend has it that the Dogwood Tree was once as tall and stately as the mighty Oak and was used as the timber for Christ’s cross. The Dogwood Tree was so distressed at the cruelty for which it was being used that Christ never again allowed a Dogwood Tree to grow large enough to be used to make a cross. Instead, the 4 petals of the Dogwood Blossom would forever represent the cross, the blossom center represent a crown of thorns, the tips of the petals represent nail marks and the red berries represent the blood of Christ.
Also according to Christian legend, the Dogwood Blossoms appear in Spring as a further representation of Christ at Eastertime.
There is another little interesting tidbit regarding the Dogwood Tree itself – that the tree is called a Dogwood because a concoction of its leaves was once used to wash dogs, ridding them of vermin and mange.
Let your kids in on the secrets, stories and legends of the Dogwood Blossom and the Dogwood Tree. Hold a Dogwood Blossom in your hands and see for yourselves if you think the Dogwood Blossom resembles a cross, crown of thorns and nail marks.
Share these stories and legends as you sit beneath the shade of a lovely Dogwood Tree… and perhaps wash your dog under that tree, too!