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Giving Tree
Begin the school year by encouraging students to think about the gifts (personal qualities) they bring to their classroom community. During the first week of school, find time to read Shel Silverstein’s classic, The Giving Tree. Ask children to describe the gifts the tree in the book shared with the boy. Why are they special? Then, begin a group discussion about the gifts each class member brings to your classroom. For example, maybe Eric knows how to make people laugh. Sarah always has something nice to say. Mitch is very good at sharing, and so forth. You may want to write these gifts on a chart or a big piece of paper. Once the ideas are flowing, provide each student with a copy of the My Special Gift printable. Explain that students should write their special gift on the lined area of the paper and draw a picture of their special gift in the picture box. Once everyone has finished, display these pages on a wall or bulletin board in the classroom.

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