In 2014, Louise came across a set of images titled 'The most magnificent trees'.
Refer to the attached link for images of the following:
- 1400-year-old Chinese ginkgo tree - every year in the fall, this tree next to the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple in the Zhongnan Mountains sheds its yellow leaves, turning the temple grounds into a sea of yellow
- baobab trees in Madagascar (photo by Rod Waddington) - these massive trees can grow to 100 feet tall and store nearly 32,000 gallons of water in their trunks to defy drought
- dragon blood trees in Yemen (photo by Rod Waddington) - these trees produce a crimson sap, which inspired their name
- 144-year-old wisteria in Japan (photo by Tungnam.com.hk) - dating back to approximately 1870, the old tree has branches that are supported by beams, which creates an umbrella of wisteria blossoms. This tree is described as the most beautiful tree in the world.
Louise used the '144-year-old wisteria in Japan' to get a group of Year 7 and 8 students to complete the Speed Writing activity from The Writing Book (page 127). The criteria for this Quick Write lesson were to start at least two sentences with an 'ed' or 'ing' verb.
Here is what Emma produced:
Swaying in the breeze, Lyla crouched at the base of the tree. Twisted roots created a comfortable nook for her to shelter in until the storm passed. Cracking lightning shuddered the ground, and Lyla screamed, covering her ears desperately. The purple fronds jittered with electric blue charge, stinging Lyla like jellyfish tentacles every time they touched her.
- Use the images to support the students to form a complex sentence. Refer to pages 76 and 80 of The Writing Book.