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, 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