The Giving Tree
Shel Silverstein
Picture and Story By: Kelli Lawson

giving tree

    In The Giving Tree, a tree starts out as a leafy playground, shade provider, and apple bearer for a curious and wild little boy. Making the boy happy makes the tree happy, but in time it becomes more challenging for the generous tree to meet the boys needs.
     When he asks for money, the tree suggests that he sell her apples. When he asks for a house, the tree offers her branches for lumber. When the boy is old, too old and sad to play in the tree, he asks the tree for a boat. The tree suggests that he cut her down to a stump so he can craft a boat out of her trunk. He unthinkingly does it.
     The tree ends up becoming just a stump over the years with only the heart the boy once carved into the tree as a child that said "M.E. + T." "And then the tree was happy... but not really." When there's nothing left of the tree, the boy returns again as an old man, needing a quiet place to sit and rest. The stump offers up her services. This is a good story for showing relationships in the many stages of life.

Critical Thinking Questions:
1. What would you build if you could build something from a tree trunk?
2.   If you were friends with a tree what would you do with it?

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