. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: She's Gonna Die?!?

Friday, August 23, 2013

She's Gonna Die?!?

We always start off the year in fourth grade by reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. (If you haven't read it, you really should! Click here to watch the 1973 version of it. You'll never understand the rest of this post without having read it.) 

(Oh, and it's a good book.)

The book is a terrific launching point for introducing the Depth and Complexity icons we will be using with the kids all year. It also conveys a message about selflessness and caring we like to reinforce. 

So we were discussing using the Unanswered Questions icon, looking for things we were left wondering about after reading the book. 

The questions they developed included:

Why did the tree always give so much to the boy?
Why didn't the boy ever say thank you?
Why did the tree let the boy use her like that?
Did the boy love the tree, even when he got older?

And a lively discussion followed each question. It was a great deal of fun!

Then a girl asked, "Why was the tree willing to die for the boy?"

So I asked her to expand on her question, and she said, "She's a tree with no leaves or branches. She gave them to the boy. Now she's going to die. Why would she do that?"

And that's when it hit me. 

That tree is gonna die! 

I've read this book a hundred times. I read it as a kid and have read it to every class I've had for 17 years. 

And I never realized that the tree gave her life for the boy. 

How did I miss that?!?! 

But a nine-year-old saw it. 




1 comment:

Mister Teacher said...

Doesn't the tree let the boy chop it down to make a house at the end? I always thought it was a somewhat dark, yet touching ending to a fantastic book.