A-B-Tree: Using tree lore and literature to support creative writing learners

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The Gaelic Tree Alphabet is an ancient connection between native woodland species and the letters of the alphabet. For nearly a decade, I have been using it as a structure for learning and creativity linking forests and literature, in a project called A-B-Craobh (A-B-Tree in English). The project has at its heart an interdisciplinary knowledge base about the 18 native woodland species linked to letters of the Gaelic alphabet, consisting of thousands of tidbits of ecological knowledge, folklore, place names, practical and medicinal uses, plus poems. I use these poems and snippets of knowledge to support creative writers to generate written content and ideas and to shape that content into poems. This often happens during events focusing on one letter of the alphabet and its associated tree. This article explores some lessons I have learned about facilitating writing about trees through these events, including with children, in therapeutic contexts and with more experienced writers such as university students.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWriting in Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


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