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Shel Silverstein’s story of the tree that gives and gives can prompt many discussions on greed, selfishness, generosity, sacrifice, boundaries, conservation, and other topics. These The Giving Tree activities will provide you and your student a foundation for learning many lessons from this book.

Thanks to Wende for creating and contributing this The Giving Tree unit study to Homeschool Share.

The Giving Tree Activities and Lessons

Here are some of the lessons included in The Giving Tree unit study:

Social Studies Activities & Lessons for The Giving Tree

Do apples grow in the state where you live? Look at a United States map and locate your state with your child. Familiarize your child with the bordering states. Apples grow best in areas that have cold winters, where the average temperature is below 45 degrees for at least two months. You may also want to locate the top apple producing states in the country, Washington and Vermont.  Point out that these states are in the northern United States, where it is the coldest. If you do live in an apple producing state, try to visit an orchard while sharing this book.  If desired, child can color in applicable states on the map provided.

Science Activities & Lessons for The Giving Tree

Apples are a delicious, nutritious treat. They contain vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. They contain very little fat or sodium. There are many varieties of apples, differing in taste, firmness, and skin color. Apples were introduced in America, most likely from Holland, when settlers brought seeds with them. While sharing this book, try to get a few varieties of apples and have a taste test to see which your child prefers. Encourage your child to describe the color, shape, texture and taste.

Trees all have three main features in common, the crown, the trunk, and the roots. The crown is the top of the tree where the branches and leaves are found. The trunk is the stem of the tree, helping food to travel from the roots to the crown. It is covered with bark for protection. The roots are underground and absorb the water and nutrients that feed the tree. The roots are also what hold the tree in place. Some trees, such as the apple tree, bear fruit. From the branches will grow tiny buds that will produce the fruit. Ask your child if he can think of any other fruits that grow on trees. Possibilities include peach, pear, cherry, plum, apricot, etc. The next time you go grocery shopping, walk through the produce aisle and identify all the fruits that grow on trees.

Math Activities & Lessons for The Giving Tree

Apple Fractions
Cut up an apple into halves, quarters, and eighths, and explain the fractional parts. If your child has an understanding of basic fractions, continue this lesson on fractions by adding and subtracting the fractional pieces.

Survey ten people to see what their favorite kind of apple is. Make a bar graph to show the survey results, or use the printable graph. Which kind was the most popular? Which kind was the least popular?

Bible Activities & Lessons for The Giving Tree

Fruit of the Spirit
In this story, not only does the tree provide the boy with fruit, but it also exhibits having the fruit of the spirit. Read this verse to your child: Galatians 5:22-23 “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

The tree is said to have love for the boy, as well as joy every time it sees him. The tree showed patience each time there was a period of separation from the boy. The tree showed extreme kindness and goodness to the boy, as well as gentleness. Make a mobile or poster with the fruit of the spirit cut-outs. Review and demonstrate them throughout the week.

To access all of the lessons and printables in this The Giving Tree unit study, grab a copy at the end of this post.

Printable Activities for the Giving Tree

This The Giving Tree unit study includes these printable activities:

  • Letter A (Is for Apple) Handwriting Page
  • The Giving Tree Story Sequencing Strips
  • Happiness Is . . . Mini-book
  • Fruit of the Spirit Mobile
  • Apples in America Map Page
  • Apple Graph Page
  • October Calendar

How to Get Started with The Giving Tree Activities

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the The Giving Tree unit study.

  1. Buy a copy of the book, The Giving Tree, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the The Giving Tree unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of book-based learning with your student.

Download Your The Giving Tree Unit Lesson Plans and Printables

Simply click the image below to grab a copy of your free The Giving Tree unit study lessons and printables.

Printable Activities for The Giving Tree

More Tree Themed Resources

At Homeschool Share we have more tree themed studies, lapbooks, and other printables for your students. Here are a few we recommend:

Leaves Unit Study & Printables
Forest Friends Printables
Miss Twiggley’s Tree Unit Study