Book of the Week: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein



“‘Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.’ Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.”

This one is a classic that I know most of you have read before. If you were anything like me as a kid, it was one of your favorites to read all by yourself and has taken on a whole new meaning as you grew up. (It’s also one of Bigi’s favorites, and since today is her birthday I couldn’t resist!) The lessons of sacrifice and selfless love are poignantly portrayed and I remember my parents using this book as the perfect segue into a discussion about treating our siblings and friends with kindness an compassion.

The project to go with The Giving Tree is perfect for young readers. I wanted to find something crafty but still educational, good for the summer and as school starts to wind down. Bumble of Joy had just the remedy! You can see the original tutorial here.

Project: Build-Your-Own Giving Tree


You can download a PDF file for the leaves and branches by following the link above!


  • Paper towel roll
  • Empty tissue box or small box
  • Small cup (Ex: bathroom paper cup)
  • Heavy cardstock paper  (I used bristol board)
  • Green construction paper (optional)
  • Brown & green paintCIMG8774
  • Markers and/or crayons
  • Velcro or double stick tape


1. Download, print and cut out or draw and cut out the leaves, branches, and apples of the tree.

2. Color the cut-out pieces.


3. Paint the paper towel roll and small cup brown.

5. Paint green or cover tissue box in green cardstock.

4. When paint is dry, push paper towel down onto the upside-down cup. This gives the tree a sturdier base and a stump to use for the last part of the story.

6. Cut slit into top of tree trunk and place inside tissue box.

7. Put one side of the Velcro on backs of branches and apples and the other spaced evenly over the tree canopy.


8. Slide tree canopy into the slit on the trunk. Voila!

Now you have an interactive story time where the kids can pull off parts of the tree as you read the story. You could even add another dimension to it if you talked about ways to serve or things you can sacrifice (TV time, the last Oreo, help mom with the dishes).


Photo/tutorial credit:

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