The Giving Tree

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

A. The Giving Tree

B. Silverstein, Shel

C. Silverstein, Shel

D. Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.

E. Poetry, Picture Book

F. K-6

G. This book is all about the life of a young boy who grows up into a grown man with the help of loving apple tree. This apple tree provided fun for the boy when he was growing up by letting him hang on her branches and make crowns out of her leaves. As he grows up he needs to make money and in order to do so she lets him sell her apples for money. He also needs to build a house and does that with the wood from her branches. Much, much later when he’s elderly he needs a boat to sail far away and she lets him cut down her trunk in order to make a boat. All this time while the boy is gone the tree misses the boy alot and is very lonely. He eventually comes back and asks to sit on the stump of the tree just so he can rest, and then that pretty much ends the story with the tree and the man being happy with eachother’s company.

H. I really love this story because I have grown up with it throughout my whole entire childhood. It has so many lessons embedded in it and its also really simple and easy to understand. It makes me feel overall pretty content but I feel indifferent because this book is so simple. It can relate to alot of my own experiences because in those embedded lessons it includes learning how to go out and do things on your own and become independent. I believe I’m proably one of the most independent people anyone will ever meet because thats the way it has to be because of my dwarfism. I have to get alot of things on my own without anyone’s help because when I’m out in the real world, as I am now in college, there aren’t always people available to help you out. This book also reminds me of alot of fun times I have had with my friends playing out in nature and pretending we were kings of the jungle. The only other book I think this connects to is Falling Up which is one of Shel Siverstein’s poetry anthologies that I am really familiar with and his styles of writing seem to be all interconnected.

I. There are so many ways that this book can connect to the classroom but a few ideas I’ve had include making up a gigantic life-size tree out of chicken wire, paper mache, paint, and paper where the kids will all construct it together and then on the leaves they will each write a few things they are grateful for. Gratefulness is definitely a theme that takes part in this story because the tree was so generous to the boy even after she had nothing left. It would be ideal to also focus on the main topic of sharing because at really young ages like those in kindergarten, alot of them still need to learn what sharing is or how to share in the first place. They could all bring things in for show and tell where they can share these items with other kids in the class which ofcourse would help them learn how to share!


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