“Marie’s Garden” is a kind of ode to a real person named Miss Marie, who is a teacher and master gardener. Of course, Miss Marie’s skills are exaggerated in the poem, but the magnificence of Miss Marie’s garden is certainly clear. The poem uses difficult vocabulary meant to challenge readers and lead to expanded vocabulary.
Bees are an important presence in Miss Marie’s garden. Ask students what they know about bees and why they are important to gardens and to the environment. Teachers and parents might also ask students to think about some of the difficult words in the poem and ask them what they do when they encounter a challenging word when they are reading or listening. Finally, ask students about their own experiences in gardens and have them discuss any experiences growing food or flowers.
- Have students draw a picture of a garden of their own, either real or imaginary and share with the class.
- Read the poem again to students, asking them to pay close attention to the difficult words. Then, provide students with a copy of the poem, having them circle any new or challenging words and use the dictionary, either online or in print, to look up the definition of the word to share with others.
- Using the poem as inspiration, create a class or family garden of your own. Have students choose which plants, fruits, vegetables, or flowers they want to put in the garden.
- After a lesson on the importance of bees, have students make a poster about bees and why it is so important that we take care of them.
This poem presents an excellent opportunity to research bees, their decline, and the environment. It is also an opportunity to research gardens and why they are important and experiencing a resurgence across the country.