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Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Giving Tree

My kiddos are in love with our fables and economics unit on life lessons right now!  Since each table group is named after a fable from our unit, the kids are on the edge of their seats waiting for us to read *their table's* fable!

The first part of this week, we read The Giving Tree.  Here's a look at all of the economics and life lessons we packed into this 3 day series...

Day 1:
We read The Giving Tree.  We talked about the life lesson and posted it at the table group.

And then my firsties worked in partners to sequence the story with our sequencing cards during Readers' Workshop.

Day 2:
We reread The Giving Tree and focused on whether or not the story was a fable or not.  We used our fable anchor chart to record whether or not we saw the elements...

(You can find this anchor chart template here.)

Then, we talked about the life lesson again and made a list of the things the Giving Tree gave to the boy {apples, branches, trunk} and I reinforced that the giving made him happy.  Then, we talked about the fact that the tree gave things she already had....giving doesn't have to mean buying things.

We brainstormed a list of things we can give that we already have...without spending money...

We chose two of those ideas {because we couldn't agree on just one!!} to work on as a class giving project: cards for a nursing home and participating in our school's canned food drive.  We will be working on cards later this week, but we started collecting cans on Wednesday!

To help my firsties understand how good it feels to give to others in need, we set a class goal for collecting canned foods!

Day 3:
We reread The Giving Tree.  We reviewed our economic terms goods, services, and resources from our Little Red Hen series.  Then, I introduced the terms scarcity and opportunity cost.  We talked about the connections. {When resources are scarce, we have to make choices...which means we have an opportunity cost.}

We charted the scarce resources the tree gave {which we listed on Day 2} and then discussed the choice the boy made with that resource and the opportunity cost he gave up because of his choice...

Finally, during Writers' Workshop, my firsties wrote about whether or not they agreed with the boy's choices and why.

I love love LOVE this story during the Christmas season.  Even though it's not a "Christmassy" story, it's the perfect addition to our Life Lessons Unit during the holidays!  I love how it really brings out the true giving spirit in my firsties...and I'm quite sure they will meet their goal of 34 cans before Christmas Break!

Grab The Giving Tree mini-unit 

or get the full 200+ page Life Lessons Unit with this plus many more fables and activities!