31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Strawberry Blossom…
Literature, legends and art bloom with FLOWERS, from lovely little nursery rhymes to sophisticated epic poetry and great myths and masterpieces. 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!
The STRAWBERRY BLOSSOM– Each luscious, ripe Strawberry comes from a lovely Strawberry Blossom, and the process from bloom-to-berry is like a tiny little miracle.
Strawberry Blossoms are not all identical, but they are similar. Most are 5-8 petaled and white… but hybrid Strawberry Blossoms may be pink or other colors, too. The main business of the Strawberry Blossom is to form a cone-like receptacle that becomes the Strawberry. The Strawberry Blossom that peeks out above the foliage toward the sun becomes the heavy, ripened Strawberry that we pick along the ground.
Strawberry Blossoms are very intricate. The fruit of the blossom, the Strawberry itself, has come to symbolize purity, passion and healing… not only because of its nutritive value, but because of its red color and delicate heart-shape.
The Strawberry is a member of the Rose family and is found in folklore and legend. One lovely legend tells that if you break a double strawberry in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex, you will fall in love with each other.
Bring your kids to a Strawberry Patch, especially when Strawberry Blossoms are abundant. Tell of the nature and miracle of bloom-to-berry. Research the process with your kids. Find double berries and tell of the legend of lovers!
Read 19th century English Romantic poet William Wordsworth’s lovely little poem about the favoured Strawberry Flower. Wordsworth tells us to pull and pick lots of other flowers, but spare the promise (the fruit) of that strawberry flower…
That is work of waste and ruin–
Do as Charles and I are doing!
Strawberry-blossoms, one and all,
We must spare them–here are many:
Look at it–the flower is small,
Small and low, though fair as any:
Do not touch it! summers two
I am older, Anne, than you.
Pull the primrose, sister Anne!
Pull as many as you can.
–Here are daisies, take your fill;
Pansies, and the cuckoo-flower:
Of the lofty daffodil
Make your bed, or make your bower;
Fill your lap, and fill your bosom;
Only spare the strawberry-blossom!
Primroses, the Spring may love them–
Summer knows but little of them:
Violets, a barren kind,
Withered on the ground must lie;
Daisies leave no fruit behind
When the pretty flowerets die;
Pluck them, and another year
As many will be blowing here.
God has given a kindlier power
To the favoured strawberry-flower.
Hither soon as spring is fled
You and Charles and I will walk;
Lurking berries, ripe and red,
Then will hang on every stalk,
Each within its leafy bower;
And for that promise spare the flower!
Literacy begins with fascination. Let the fascination begin with the Strawberry Blossom…
If you look closely, you will see the cone-like receptacle in the center of the flower, the promise of the Strawberry to come!