Teaching Kids about Lilacs ~ and maybe even a Poem!
The Lilac is a shrub, cultivated for its fragrant blossoms, which are known for their lovely violet color; but there are also white, pinkish, yellow and dark burgundy varieties of the Lilac blossom.
The Lilac blooms in early spring and is heralded as a May Flower.
The LILAC derives its name from the Spanish lilac, Arabic lilak, Persian lilak, a variant of nilak meaning “bluish,” and from the Persian words for indigo, lilah and lilanj.
The genus name Syringa is derived from the Greek word syrinx, meaning a hollow tube or pipe. The hollow tubes of the Lilac shrub were once used to create reed pipes and flutes.
Lilac Festivals are held around the world to honor the blossom itself and the coming of spring. The Lilac is the state flower of New Hampshire. And Poets love the Lilac, immortalized by such poets as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Amy Lowell. A lovely poem to share with your children is this acrostic poem by contemporary American poet and former teacher, Elaine Magliaro:
by Elaine Magliaro
Little-petalled blossoms hang
In soft clusters of
Adorning spring’s greenery,
Catching honeybees with
The Lilac symbolizes EARLY LOVE and is associated with beauty and pride; and the white Lilac blossoms symbolize youthful innocence.
Let your kids in on the secrets of the Lilac, and maybe even write your own acrostic poem or photograph some lovely lilacs to celebrate the lovely Lilac today! Here is my photograph of my recently bloomed lilacs on this very morning…
Remember that 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.