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A Language Arts lesson plan on Theme and on Giving


Language Arts  


1, 2, 3, 4, 5  

   Character Education--Giving
by Ashley Bowles
Grade Levels:  1-5

Instructional Goal/Purpose: Students will learn to discuss and think critically about a narrative text, to recognize and describe the theme of a book, to realize the importance of giving,and to record personal experiences in a journal.

Lesson Objectives:

1. After listening to the teacher read Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, TSWBAT participate in a class discussion guided by the teacher.

2. After discussing the text, TSWBAT identify/describe a theme for the book

3. After discussing the text, TSWBAT construct a Giving and Receiving Journal for recording personal reflections.


1. Teacher reads the book to students.

2. Teacher leads class discussion by posing the following questions: A. Describe the relationship b/w the boy and the tree. B. Does the tree show the boy unconditional love? Explain. C. Do you have a relationship with anyone which involves such selflessness? D. What is the them or moral of this book? (Minilesson explaining this literary element)

3. Teacher instructs students to create a Giving and Receiving Journal and to decorate the cover.

4. Teacher provides daily time for students to record what they have given or received from someone else and how this has affected them (can be tangible or intangible gifts). Allow young children to use invented spelling and/or illustrations.


1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

2. construction paper, blank paper, and markers for journal

3. Other books relating to the theme of giving

Evaluation: The teacher will evaluate students on their ability to discuss logically, clearly, and maturely (use as a part of on-going portfolio/assessment of discussion skills). Teacher will also check to see that students maintain their journals–although journal entries themselves will not be graded.

Closure: Teacher and students will create a class bulletin board–on a large tree, brainstorm things you can do to help or give to others.

Adaptations: Enrichment–Have students establish a program to motivate people in the community to give to or help others.

Remediation–Provide further readings on giving or other readings for practice identifying themes.

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