The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry


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Nicole Butters

Looking for a read aloud with an Earth Day theme? Read The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry. In the Amazon rainforest, a man begins to chop down an enormous Kapok tree which is home to many animals. When he sits down to rest, he falls asleep at the base of the tree. One by one, the amazing animals of the rainforest whisper in the man’s ear telling him of the tree’s importance and why he should not cut it down.

Expand from the Earth Day Conversation to share reading strategies. 

Strategy Instruction Possibilities:

Set a purpose for reading—There are many reasons why we might choose to read The Great Kapok Tree. I chose to read this book because I am a great lover of trees and Earth Day is coming up. I am interested in learning more about Kapok trees which I do not know much about. I am choosing to read this book because I like the author Lynne Cherry. I chose to read this book because the illustrations are bright and beautiful and I am a great lover of beautiful art and illustrations.

Determine and analyze author’s purpose and support with text—Why do you think the author wrote this text? Ideas: To send the message to readers that the Rainforest is a rare and wonderous place that should be protected. To explain to readers the threat to rainforests and inspire readers to want to take action to save them. To show readers how many different animals live in the Amazon Rain Forest. To explain to readers the importance of trees.A: Look for word parts.

Adjust and apply different reading rates to match text—In this book, many animal characters speak and provide a great opportunity to model phrasing and prosody. Model slower reading to fit when the boa constrictor speaks and again when the sloth speaks, and pick up speed when the bee buzzes down.

Tune In to Interesting Words—Words in this text that may be of interest include: ancestors, generations, porcupine, slithered, dangled, fragrant, amidst, hesitated, lulled.

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