With our bellies stuffed from Thanksgiving and our hearts filled with love and gratitude from spending time with family and friends, December is a great month for us to help our little ones think about and engage in acts of giving. From giving physical things to giving their time to help others, December often represents a time for all of us to stop and help those in need.
This month, RAR will suggest titles for families to share together that focus on the Gift of Giving.
The Giving Tree is appropriate for all ages.
“Once there was a tree… and she loved a little boy.” So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk… and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.
Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Use Context Clues to Make Inferences:
Before you read The Giving Tree take a picture walk through the book with your child. The simple illustrations provide room for your child to make inferences and guesses as to what each page might hold. Have your child tell you what they think might be happening on the page. Start with the actual picture, there may be a tree and a boy. Take it further by asking what the boy is doing. Is he climbing, playing, picking apples. Then, as a more complex step for older children, ask your child if the boy looks happy, sad, tired, older. Ask if the tree looks happy, lonely, sad, proud.
Do this with your child:
The tree is willing to give the boy everything that she has. She loves the boy and it makes her happy to share with him. Help your child make a list of the people who give to them. Then make another list of ways that your child can be more giving. We don’t have to give everything we have to help other people but think of some ways that we can help.
For access to fun and silly activities relating to The Giving Tree and other Shel Silverstein titles, check out his website here.
If you’re interested in sharing The Giving Tree with your child you can find it from Harper Collins Publishers here. Please like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.