Welcome to the Helping Readers Bloom Spring Link-up.
The Reading Crew is a group of primary through middle school reading specialists. About three to four times a year, we share materials and ideas through a blog link up. Enjoy reading through our posts and collecting free materials to use in your classroom this spring. Links to all the posts are found at the end of this post. Before you leave, enter the rafflecopter also found at end of this post. The raffle will be open from 4/6/18 (6:00 AM EST) to 4/11/18 at (6:00 AM EST). We are giving away over $600.00 in prizes including an Apple iPad mini WiFi + gift cards for a total of 8 winners. Have a great time exploring our blog posts, and I wish you luck in the raffle!
Fans of The One and Only Ivan and Crenshaw are going to love Katherine Applegate’s newest novel Wishtree. The story is told from the perspective of Red, a 216 year old red oak tree living in a suburban neighborhood. Red is one special tree. Every May Day, people in the area tie pieces of fabric with wishes all over Red. Because Red has witnessed years of humans telling her their deepest wishes as they tie rags onto her branches, she understands sadness.
A Muslim family with a daughter named Samar moves into Red’s neighborhood. Red sees how lonely Samar is and wants to help her. Red discusses Samar with the animals that live in her branches hoping for a way to help. One day, Samar ties a wish on Red. Her wish is simple; she wants a friend. With the aid of the animals, Red helps Samar and teaches an important lesson to the entire neighborhood in the process.
The story is tangled with several subplots dealing with prejudice making it must-read for students.
Activities to Use with WishtreeThis handout contains four activities to use with the book Wishtree.
Four corners is a great activity to introduce the book Wishtree. Have students move into groups based on whether or not they believe in specific good luck objects or practices. The handout includes full instructions including suggested questions for this activity.
Nonfiction Article “Wish Trees”
This article provides an overview of what wish trees are as well as different types of wish trees found around the world. Comprehension questions follow the article making it a great close reading activity.
Wish Tree Craftivity
After discussing the significance of wish trees, have students create a wish tree full of their own wishes. These would look fantastic mounted on construction paper and placed on a bulletin board. Add a catchy title such as….
DREAM big, SPARKLE more, and SHINE bright.
The Craftivity Project
Wishtree Book Unit Samples
Wishtree Novel Study can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers.