The National Simultaneous Storytime book for 2022 is Family tree by Josh Pyke, illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh. Embracing a range of feelings and experiences, the seasons and the circle of life, the book celebrates family and Belonging, Being and Becoming, accompanied by illustrations featuring a contemporary and diverse Australia.
After reading the story to the children, find out what captivated the children’s interests and use questions to prompt conversations. You could draw their attention to the seed that is mentioned at the beginning and the end. What is the seed? Why is it so important? Have they seen any seeds? Maybe you could inspect fruit, vegetables or plants you have around your service. Can the children spot any seeds? What do seeds do? Maybe they would like to grow something from seed?
What kind of tree is featured in the book? Have they seen one like it? Encourage them to look at the illustrations again and point out other plants and animals. Do they know any of their names?
If the children at your service are engaged in nature play, there are two interesting considerations this story touches on. One issue worth discussing with children playing in nature is risk-taking. Have you ever climbed a tree? Is it dangerous? What could you do to keep yourself safe? How high is too high?
In a nature education program, children generally learn to respect the fragility of habitats and ecosystems and therefore understand that damaging or removing items they find in nature can be harmful. In the story, the tree says that the scars don’t hurt – but do the children think it is a good idea to carve into trees?
When talking about how humans treat the environment, particularly trees, you could contrast Family tree with The giving tree. Invite the children to compare the stories. How do humans behave differently towards the tree in each story?
With our book recommendations, we want to spark an interest in children to discover STEM in their everyday lives. Most books go beyond the obvious STEM connections and can be a great starting point for exploring children’s questions and ideas further.
Learn more: Book a STEM workshop.
Article author: Kerstin Johnson
Content Editor & Resources Developer
Kerstin is our editor and looks after all the content at Little Scientists. Her aim is to make everything as engaging and user-friendly as possible for workshop participants.