Lesson Plan on The Giving Tree (Montessori USA)

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Preschool / Pre-Primary / Nursery / Pre-Kindergarten Lesson Plan – Lesson Plan on The Giving Tree (Montessori USA), Montessori philosophy

Title: Exploring the Central Themes of “The Giving Tree” – A Montessori-inspired Lesson Plan for Preschool/Pre-Primary/Nursery/Pre-Kindergarten Students in the USA

– To introduce and explore the central themes of selflessness, gratitude, and the importance of nature through the children’s book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
– To foster empathy, critical thinking, and language development skills in young learners.
– To align with the USA Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) and incorporate Montessori principles.

Curriculum Links:
– USA Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF):
– Social and Emotional Development: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Empathy, and Respect for Others.
– Language and Literacy Development: Listening and Understanding, Speaking and Communicating.
– Approaches to Learning: Curiosity, Initiative, Problem-Solving, and Persistence.
– Cognitive Development and General Knowledge: Reasoning and Problem-Solving, Knowledge of the World, and Scientific Reasoning and Inquiry.

Theorist: Maria Montessori
– Incorporate Montessori principles such as hands-on learning, self-directed activities, and mixed-age groupings.
– Provide opportunities for independent exploration, fostering a sense of responsibility and self-confidence.
– Encourage the development of concentration, coordination, and order through structured activities.

– “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein
– Large chart paper or whiteboard
– Markers
– Art supplies (colored pencils, crayons, or markers)
– Nature objects (leaves, twigs, etc.)
– Construction paper
– Scissors
– Glue sticks


1. Introduction (10 minutes):
– Gather students in a circle and introduce the book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
– Discuss the importance of trees and nature in our lives, linking it to the Montessori principle of respect for the environment.
– Show the cover of the book and ask students to make predictions about the story.

2. Reading and Discussion (15 minutes):
– Read “The Giving Tree” aloud, using expressive voices and engaging gestures.
– Pause at key moments to ask open-ended questions, encouraging critical thinking and language development.
– Discuss the central themes of selflessness, gratitude, and the consequences of our actions.

3. Group Activity: Tree of Gratitude (20 minutes):
– Draw a large tree outline on chart paper or whiteboard.
– Explain that the tree represents gratitude and the things we are thankful for.
– Provide each student with a leaf-shaped piece of construction paper.
– Ask students to write or draw something they are grateful for on their leaf.
– Invite students to come up one by one and attach their leaf to the tree using glue sticks.
– Discuss the completed tree, emphasizing the importance of gratitude and the interconnectedness of our actions.

4. Independent Activity: Nature Collage (15 minutes):
– Provide each student with a piece of construction paper and art supplies.
– Encourage students to explore the outdoor environment and collect natural objects such as leaves, twigs, or flowers.
– Instruct students to create a collage using the collected materials, promoting fine motor skills and creativity.
– Allow students to share their collages with the class, discussing the different elements of nature they used.

5. Reflection and Conclusion (10 minutes):
– Gather students back in a circle and reflect on the central themes of “The Giving Tree.”
– Ask open-ended questions to encourage students to express their thoughts and feelings about the story.
– Discuss how they can apply the lessons learned from the book in their daily lives.
– Conclude the lesson by emphasizing the importance of kindness, gratitude, and respect for nature.

– Observe students’ participation and engagement throughout the lesson.
– Assess students’ ability to express their thoughts and feelings during discussions.
– Evaluate students’ completed tree of gratitude and nature collages for creativity and understanding of the central themes.

Extension Activities:
– Role-play: Encourage students to act out scenes from “The Giving Tree,” exploring different perspectives and emotions.
– Writing Activity: Ask students to write or dictate a short story about an act of kindness they have experienced or witnessed.
– Nature Walk: Take students on a nature walk to observe and appreciate the trees and plants in their surroundings, reinforcing the importance of nature.

Note: Adapt the lesson plan as needed to suit the specific age, abilities, and interests of the students in your class






Maria Montessori



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