The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Listening + Speaking Lessons)

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Listening + Speaking
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Listening + Speaking
Grade Levels
3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th
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This lesson bundle comprises of 2 lessons revolving around the theme of giving using The Giving Tree.The 1st one is listening lesson on Giving Tree using Directed Listening Thinking Approach (DLTA). The 2nd lesson is a continuation of the theme on giving. Done through a speaking lesson using the idea of Talking Points. Topic will be on giving.

LO for Listening Lesson
By the end of the lesson, pupils will be able to:
1. Listen to “chunks” of a narrative in order to make predictions about story events in a spoken children’s narrative
2. Listen for details of speech in a spoken children’s narrative
3. Listen and make personal connections to the theme in a children’s narrative

LO for Speaking Lesson
By the end of the lesson, pupils will be able to:
1. Speak and participate appropriately in a group discussion
2. Speak and discuss collaboratively to maintain focus on the topic in a group discussion
3. Speak in order to justify reasons in a group discussion

- The Giving Tree (Audio)
- 2 Detailed 1-hour lesson plans (Listening and Speaking) with expected student’s journal responses and short write up on rationale for linking both lessons
- 2 videos on giving (to be shown in speaking lessons)
- Talking Points (Giving) Sheet

The first lesson plan is designed with the focus on Aesthetic Listening. Block argues that teaching listening helps pupils develop multiple listening strategies, which helps to prevent pupils from becoming confused as soon as they misunderstand or mishear a speaker’s intent (2001, p.159). The directed listening thinking activity (DLTA) approach is used in this listening lesson. DLTA teaches students to predict what will occur next and justify them using the details they hear (Stauffer, 1980; Lundsteen, 1989, as cited in Block, 2001, p.159). The element of justifying with reasons willalso be one of the main learning outcomes in the subsequent speaking lesson, which will be touched on later. Within
the DLTA, there are markers of scaffolding such as questioning. Nunan refers to the listener as a “meaning builder” and through questioning, pupils take an active role in constructing and interpreting what they hear using not only sounds of the language, but also, their available schema and knowledge of the language system (1990, as cited in Gibbons, 2002, p.103). Listening of the story will be repeated in the lesson. This is because listening is a complex, multistep process “by which spoken language is converted to meaning in the mind” (Lundsteen, 1979, as cited in Tompkins, p.295). Post-listening shows the integration of receptive (listening) skills and productive (writing) skills when students are asked to pen down their thoughts into their reading log (MOE, 2009, p.11). Since pupils don’t have to decode written words when listening, their overall language competence increases when these receptive skills are translated into productive skills (Pearson & Fielding, 1982, as cited in Tompkins, 2005, p.302).

The second lesson plan is designed with the focus on Exploratory Talk. Since pupils are not familiar with the idea of exploratory talk yet, the lesson will only be focusing on giving reasons to justify a viewpoint. This is supported by what Dawes mentioned about a “progression from not giving reasons, to giving reasons, to giving and evaluating reasons….” (Dawes, 2005, p.111). This resonates with the idea of Spiral Progression where this speaking lesson will be the foundation layer for future exploratory talk lessons of increasing levels of difficulty and sophistication (MOE, 2009,
p.11). Through talking points, a rich environment for communication in order to foster speaking skills and focus on the achievement of the Learning Outcomes is created. Within this form of learning-focused interaction, elements of Vygotsky’s More Knowledgeable Others is also present in the group discussion as collaboration takes place between pupils of different language competencies and socio-cultural backgrounds. (MOE, 2009, p.11). Also, with collaborative
group discussion, strategic competence for the L2 pupils in the classroom can be achieved through communication strategies such as code-switching and appealing for help whereby their utterances will be completed by the L1 pupils (Thornbury, 2008, p.29-30). The plenary conducted at the post-exploratory talk encourages output through collaborative conversations (Anthony, 2008, p.474). Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development also comes into play
here through the extended language and thinking facilitated by the teacher.
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours

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The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Listening + Speaking
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Listening + Speaking
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