Saturday, October 20, 2012

+! [The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest] [by: Lynne Cherry]


  • Veröffentlicht am: 1998-01-09
  • Einband: Gebundene Ausgabe


Exhausted from his labors, a man chopping down a great kapok tree in the Brazilian rain forest puts down his ax, and, as he sleeps, the animals who live in the tree plead with him not to destroy their world. "This modern fable with its urgent message contains an abundance of information."--"The Horn Book"


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5Teaching 5th grade
Von Sherrie Taylor
Dear Readers,

This book intrigues the imagination of children through the pictures and characters used within the story. The story is about how individuals need to respect others. It teaches children to be concerned about the world around them. Everyone needs to explore the world and strive to make it a better place in which to live.

Many lessons can be taught by using this book. Students could complete a writing assignment in which they write to organizations that are trying to save the rain forest. They could offer their suggestions on how we could go about this difficult task. Through discussion and exploration of the world around them children could learn how every living creature relies on the other for survival. A mini-lesson on feeling and emotions could be taught with the use of this book.

Students within my classroom have acted this story out by presenting a classroom play. They have written letters of concern about the destruction of the rain forest and its vast resources and animals. During the school year we have researched the products that are produced because of materials obtained from the rain forest and how they effect their own lives. The students within my classroom located several sources on the rain forest through the Internet, books, and magazines to enable them to develop a HyperStudio presentation about the rain forest. All of these projects and lessons involved cooperative learning, fun, and researching. Children need the opportunity to explore the world through a variety of methods. Life is what you make of it.

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5Children's Environmental Literature Classic
Von Maggie Wolfe Riley
This is a beautifully illustrated fable of interdependence in the rain forest. As a teacher, I use this story to teach about ecosystems here at home. Even though it is appropriate for younger children, I read it to my outdoor school students (5th-6th grade) on the day we study ecosystems to help them understand the inter-relationships we see and study in the field. I like to bring the story to life by giving the animals special voices (lots of hissssing for the snake, chattering for the monkeys, squawking for the birds, etc.) At first the students laugh and are amused by the voices, but when the tree frogs talk about ruined lives and being left homeless, they begin to get more serious, and by the time the sloth asks "How much is beauty worth? Can you live without it?" they are fully engrossed. After reading the story, I send the students out to find a "magic spot" to do a writing assignment: write their own story of "The Great ______" substituting a plant they have learned about during their week at outdoor school for Kapok Tree.

The only thing I don't like about this story is that students, in their black and white morality, sometimes only take home the message that "it's bad to cut down trees." I like the book "The Gift of the Tree" because it doesn't have this morality tale aspect, and "Just a Dream," because it places responsibility on each of our shoulders, not just "someone" like the tree cutter in this story. But I use this story in conjunction with those others and discuss this issue with the students. This is definitely a classic in Children's Environmental Literature!

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5The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
Von Nancy
This book is a magnificient view of how the rainforest works together as a complex community, yet is made simple to bring that message to young children. The big book version is wonderfully filled with detailed pictures that children love to see. I recommend this book to any parent or teacher trying to teach environmental awareness to their children and students. It get the children excited to see what else is out in the world and try to do something before it vanishes, just as the animals tell the man the rainforest community will vanish if he chops down the Kapok Tree.

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+! [The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest] [by: Lynne Cherry] Reviewed by Lek on Saturday, October 20, 2012 Rating: 4.5


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