Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature: The Giving Tree

This Teaching Economics Using Children's Literature: The Giving Tree lesson plan also includes:

Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree is a great way to cover multiple concepts in an elementary school classroom. Throughout this lesson plan, they learn about economic principles such as scarcity and goods, science principles like renewable and non-renewable resources, and character education with a focus on sharing appreciation. Learners complete two worksheets (included): a graphic organizer about the story, and a writing template where they write a letter of appreciation to the tree and then someone close to them. 

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Instructional Ideas
  • If this lesson falls near Mother's or Father's Day, have kids write their letter of appreciation to a parent as a gift
Classroom Considerations
  • Although this resource could be adapted for many elementary school grade levels, some of the economic concepts may be too advanced for younger learners (debt, for example)
  • Cross-curricular coverage from one short story
  • Follow-up activity ideas are listed
  • None