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In this Let’s Think in English lesson pupils develop their understanding of symbolism while studying Shel Silverstein’s story “The Giving Tree”. Pupils consider the representation of the tree and the boy in the story as well as the possible message of the text.


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  1. After studying the text in the Let’s Think in English lesson pupils are encouraged to consider alternative endings.

    Here is an example from a Year 5 pupil of an alternative ending for “The Giving Tree”.

  2. In this video Year 5 pupils from the British International School in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam, are enjoying their first Let’s Think in English lesson. Pupil feedback steers the lesson towards a consideration of the dilemma/problem in the story and when it arises.

  3. Here is an insight into how a group’s understanding of the text evolves during the opening of the story. Note how awareness of the symbolic aspects of the story start to emerge in the discussions between three Year 6 pupils from an Islington school. This awareness of symbolism is developed further as they continue to read the story and share their thoughts throughout the lesson.

    LTE Transcript The Giving Tree

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