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Subject: Literature

#4716. The Great Kapok Tree

Literature, level: Kindergarten
Posted 04/27/2013 by Diana Nickerson (Diana Nickerson).
Hunter College (Student Teacher), New York


Teacher Candidate: Diana Nickerson

Date of scheduled visit: April 11, 2012

Name/Address of School: Tag Young Scholars

Room Number/Name: K-112

Age/Grade to be observed: Kindergarten

Cooperating Teacher: Ms. Goldstein

Name of activity/lesson: The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry

Lesson Period : 2 Days

Content area(s)/Area(s) of development: Science and English Language Arts

• New concept/activity X• Continuation of previous lesson/activity

• Review of previous lesson/activity • Conclusion of concept

Brief description of lesson/activity: The rain forest is the natural habitat of many of the world’s animals. The Great Kapok Tree, by Lynne Cherry tells the story of the importance of the kapok tree through the voice of the animals of the rain forest. It is a plea to save their environment. As such, students will recognize the importance of the rain forest, and why we should protect this environment.

Goal(s) of lesson/activity:
Students will identify what animals need to live
LE4.1g – Needs of animals to live and thrive
Students will produce a response to literature that demonstrates their understanding.
E2b – Produces a response to literature

Materials to be used:
• The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
• Dry Erase Board
• Chart Paper T-chart
• Sentence Starters
• Construction Paper
• Index cards
• Crayons and Markers
• Smart Board
• YouTube Video

Procedure (step by step):

1. Introduce the book The Great Kapok Tree.
2. Have you ever heard of a Kapok Tree?
3. Where do you think we could find a Kapok Tree?
4. Let’s read the story, The Great Kapok Tree.
5. Why do you think the man is in the forest?
6. How is the kapok tree important to the snake/boa constrictor?
7. What will happen to the floor of the rainforest if the kapok tree isn’t saved?
8. Why is the jaguar concerned?
9. How is the kapok tree important to animals and humans?
10. Why do you think the man left the forest?
11. Why do you think we should save the kapok tree?
12. Draw a kapok tree and two animals from the story that helped to save it. Then write one reason why we should protect the kapok tree.
13. Day Two
14. Re-visit the Great Kapok Tree
15. Who can recall detail from the story The Great Kapok Tree?
16. Today we are going to listen to an animation of the Great Kapok Tree.
17. Who can tell me what is an animation?
18. How is an animation different from the way we viewed the story yesterday?
19. Let’s view the animation of the Great Kapok Tree.
20. What can we do to save the rainforest?
21. Children will write there opinion on how they can save the rainforest.

• Day 1
• Differentiated Instruction:
• ELLS - Pictures from the story The Great Kapok Tree will be captured from the document camera on the smart board. Each page of the text will be read from the smart board.
• Day 2

Method of assessing children’s understanding of lesson/activity/concept(s):

• Observing children’s written and oral responses to the story.
• Listening as children discuss ideas and information through their social interactions in their groups.
• How do the animals in the rainforest depend on the Great Kapok Tree?

Any additional information that would be helpful for the observer to know:
The literacy unit topic of focus is The Rain Forest. Books reflecting this emphasis are displayed in the library. Other non-fiction texts are in bins on each table. There will be a whole group read aloud on the rug. Children will transition to their tables to complete the activity. Vocabulary will be taught indirectly as children listen and speak during the read – aloud.

Instructor/field supervisor to date and initial:

• Approved ___________
• Revisions required ___________


Depend – to get help or support: rely
Gash – a deep cut
Pollen – yellow powder of plants
Miracles – amazing or wonderful and hard to explain
Slither – to slide
Murmur – soft or low sound
Plod – move in a slow heavy way
Dapple - to mark something with patches or spots