Once There Was A Tree..... November Bulletin Display

I love creating book-themed bulletin boards. I adore seeing my students' excitement over the display, and love hearing "OOH did you read that book?" In the spirit of November and Thanksgiving, this month I created a Giving Tree display. I find the illustrations and surface simplicity of this book charming.

This display was easy to make. I cut out brown butcher paper and green butcher paper for the tree. I traced the old man and little boy on my projector. This tree was a hassle. I had visions of making both the leaves and the trunk a dark green color (like the book), but my school was out of dark green butcher paper. UGH. Plans had to be rethought. I do not like how the tree turned out, but I think it provides a cute backdrop for the rest of my display.

I think I love making book-themed bulletin boards so much because I get to use my projector to trace memorable book characters. The traced drawings always amaze my students! They think their teacher is the best artist in the world.... I never tell them my trick. Whoops. As a super unartistic person, it is nice to have someone think that I have artistic talent :-)

Each writing piece that I displayed centers around the idea of "How to be a giving person." The kids and I brainstormed how to be kind and giving to our friends, families, and communities. It was cute to see what they came up with. A perfect idea for November, a time of giving thanks to others!

I personally find the book The Giving Tree a bit sick and an uncomfortable read, which I think is the point of it. The relationship shown in the book is dysfunctional and abusive. It is reminiscent of relationships where someone keeps giving and giving and giving, yet in return never gets anything. Many of us have been in relationships where we constantly give, only to realize in the end that our mate is nothing but a self-indulgent taker. Sadly, the tree never comes to this conclusion. She gives, and gives, and gives, and loves, until there is nothing left of her.

The book is sweet and wonderful until the boy finds a girlfriend and decides that he needs to build a house so he happily cuts down the tree's limbs. Suddenly, the book takes a turn from a kind, loving relationship to one of manipulation and enabling. Shel Silverstein does a fantastic job of bringing the idea of a children's book into a more adult and mature setting. This is rather off-topic... but the idea of an "adult children's book" always reminds me of that Sex and the City episode with Carrie Bradshaw... where she meets with Big's ex-wife and on-the-spot comes up with an idea for a "children's book for adults" about Suzie and her magical cigarettes.

This post quickly went off-topic, but the display was easy to create and ultimately ADORABLE! Try it for November or December, the months of giving :-)

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