Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry

Two men walk into the rainforest, one leaving the other to begin chopping down one of the great kapok trees. The man chops at the roots of the tree but soon tires. He sits down to rest and soon falls asleep to be visited by denizens of the rainforest, whispering in his ear the many reasons why he should spare the great tree. Will he continue to chop down the tree? Would you?
If you use this story as a read-aloud, be sure to share it using a document camera to really take advantage of the amazingly detailed, beautiful picture spreads. Be sure to spend some time on the endpapers. Some of my students really got into seeing how many creatures they could find and identify on each spread, kind of like a Where's Waldo or an I Spy.
A quick search with your favorite search engine will give you lots of ideas for using this story for a wide variety of lessons--easily adaptable for a wide range of age groups. Be sure to take a moment on the author's bio blurb on the book flap and visit the author's website at

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