The Giving Tree

This is the touching story of a boy’s relationship with a tree, and how the tree provides for him throughout his life.

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Natural Resources, Economic Wants, Goods & Services.

Comprehension Questions

Identify the main natural resource the boy depends on in the story.

The tree.

List the natural resources the tree provided for the boy throughout his life.

Apples, wood, leaves.

Explain how the boy used the leaves (natural resource) to entertain himself when he was young.

He would make them into crowns and play king of the forest.

Name the parts of the tree (natural resource) and tell how each part provided goods or services for the boy when he was young.

trunk: a place to climb

branches: a place to swing

leaves: a place for shade to rest; a crown

apples: food to eat

Explain how the tree provided income (money) for the teenage boy.

The tree told the boy to take his apples and sell them.

As the boy grew older, his wants changed. Explain how the parts of the tree helped him get what he wanted as an adult.

branches: to help build a house

trunk: to make a boat

stump: to provide a seat

In our own economy, how are trees beneficial to us?

We get many products from trees, too many to list here. Here are some examples: paper; syrup; oils; decorations (Christmas trees, wreaths, etc.); resins to help make turpentine, polish, varnishes, shoe polish, and soaps; charcoal; wood for houses, posts, furniture, etc.

How do we get the trees we need in our economy?

Most trees are grown and produced by tree farmers and forest industry companies, who plant, harvest, and sell the trees. Many trees also come from publicly owned National Forests, which were created years ago to make sure we didn’t run out of wood. These public forests are managed by the government. In recent decades the United States is doing a much better job of managing its forest resources. At this time, there is no danger of “running out of trees.”

Author: Shel Silverstein
Published: 1986
Reading Level: 2.6
Grade Level: Pre-K to 3rd
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: .5
Publisher: Harper Collins