We used the book to visualize character change, and to then describe in writing how both the tree and the boy changed from the beginning to the end of the book. While we read, students described what they saw the tree and the boy looking like for each phase. We created a class visualization map:
In writing we just completed one of my favorite lessons. I write on the board "The teacher was angry." I then go around acting angry at the students. I receive some giggles, and some seriously get concerned. I stop after about a minute. I then ask, what did I do to SHOW that I was angry. I write down what they say. After recording several responses I then repeat the sentence using the details of how I acted angry. You need to emphasis how much better it sounds when you SHOW what the character does, versus just telling what they are feeling.
We then set up our Writer's Notebooks into six sections, and wrote down six different emotions: sad, happy, sick, surprised, embarrassed, and having fun. Each table is then assigned an emotion. We go around the room and each table acts out that emotion for five seconds. The rest of the students watch the group, and then write down what they saw. We tell them to notice what they are doing with their face, hands, etc. Then as a class we record all the details we saw. This becomes an anchor chart for our room:
We are moving into publishing this week...can't wait to share some final products :)