While rummaging around on teacher blogs one day, I came across this great post from Sub Hub about using The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein as a learning activity.
So I basically followed Sub Hub's directions.
- The students were asked to make their Christmas gift lists.
- I read the story The Giving Tree aloud to the students using the classroom Elmo.
- We held a class discussion about what happened in the story. (The tree gave and gave and gave... The boy did not.)
- The students were given the opportunity to change their Christmas gift lists.
The one that absolutely melted my heart was the girl who wrote that all she wanted was for her grandma to get better. (Grandma has cancer and they do not yet know her long-term prognosis.) I had tears in my eyes as I read it!
And - did I mention the discussion - WOW! I knew this group of 5th graders was very responsible and mature, but I was so impressed with the discussion. It was one of those awesome moments as a teacher where I really felt I reached some students and taught them the true meaning of the Christmas holiday.
Thank you, Sub Hub! Your idea was fantastic!!