Lesson Plan:

The Giving Tree: Identifying Story Elements

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August 30, 2015
by Sarah Marten

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify basic story elements.


Introduction (15 minutes)

  • Tell the students they will be listening to a story called The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
  • Project the Story Elements Organizer for the class to see.
  • Review what each element is and how it is identified in a story.
  • Explain to students that they will be required to fill out the organizer after listening to the story.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Read aloud The Giving Tree to the class, pausing during reading to think aloud about the story elements as you notice them in the text.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Hand out the Story Elements Organizer to the class.
  • You may have the students work independently or in pairs.
  • Walk around the room to monitor students and help as needed.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Hand out The Giving Tree worksheet to the students.
  • Arrange the students in pairs and have them complete the worksheets.



  • Enrichment: Students who finish early during Independent Working Time can be assigned the Parts of a Tree worksheet.
  • Support: Pair students who need support with more advanced students. Allow struggling students who need support to draw rather than write their answers in the organizer.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Collect the completed organizers and worksheets. Review them later to assess student understanding of the lesson content.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Close the lesson by playing Shel Silverstein's narration of The Giving Tree for the class.

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