The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein


In The Giving Tree, a young boy and a tree love each other very much. He swings from her branches, rests in her shade, and eats her apples. As the young boy grows, however, so do his interests and needs. He spends less and less time with the tree, returning only when he needs something. The tree happily offers him what she has each time he returns, such as her branches to build a house and her trunk for a boat, until she is nothing but an old stump. The last time the young boy returns he is a very old man, and the tree frets that she has nothing left to give him. He assures her that she does, as he only wants a comfortable place to sit and rest. The tree is happy again, because an old stump is perfect for sitting and resting.


This book would be great for a lesson on sharing versus being greedy, or for a lesson about wisely using resources found in nature. It could be adapted for use throughout the elementary grades.