Writing in a Tree (map)

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SWBAT sequence events from the story. SWBAT complete a tree map by consolidating information from two circle maps.

Big Idea

It's time to study our friends! What are your friends? My friends are kind.

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

The Lonely Prince  CD

I have this story The Lonely Prince on CD.  The reader is animated and there are sound effects in the background, so students are very engaged!  It is a fun way to do a third read of the text.  We listen to the story all the way through one more time without stopping. 


We then revisit the two focus questions: Why is friendship important?  and What makes a good friend?  I ask for evidence from the text to support their answers.


I do this to make sure students got the big idea of the read.  This is a check for understanding and guided practice in citing evidence from the text.


Interact with Text

45 minutes

Sequence/Guided Retell

Retelling is a key kindergarten skill that lays the foundation for summarizing in the upper elementary and later grades.  I use picture support to give my second language learners and concrete reference that also prompts language.  It also gives me the opportunity to clarify and reteach, if necessary, before the students independently sequence events tomorrow.  


Enlarged events in pocket chart

I enlarge the events of the story so that the whole class can do this sequencing activity together.  I like to do it in a pocket chart, but a chalk board ledge works well too.  Before we begin, I review each of the event stick illustrations out of order.  This is my way of making sure the kids know what each picture signifies.  I usually place the first square at this point in the year.

I say:  This is the name of the story The Lonely Prince.  Do you remember what we call the name of the story?  (title)  The title always goes first so that the reader knows what story we are talking about. 

I say: Now, let’s look at the events we have here.  Which event came in the beginning of the story?  What was the FIRST event of the story.  You can take volunteers or pull a name stick and have a student come up to the pocket chart to identify the first event of the story.  If they do not know, I choose another student.  When they pick the correct one, I help them to place it right next to the title in the pocket chart.

I follow that same pattern until all of the events are placed in order after the title. 


After all of the events have been placed, we ‘reread’ the events.  Say: Boys and girls, this fast way of telling a story is called a retell/summary.  A retell/summary is when we tell the story with the main events.


Extend Understanding

20 minutes

My friends tree map


We complete a tree map for  “My friends are/can ___” together as a group.  I have the circle maps from earlier in the week displayed for student reference.  


We brainstorm ideas for each branch and write them under the sight word.   I have my tree map on the document camera and the kids have theirs at their desks.  I ask: Can anyone remember some of the ideas we had to tell what our friends ARE?  If you can't remember, you can look at the circle map we made earlier in the week.  I call on students and we fill in our ARE section of the tree map together.  As I write the word on my paper, they follow suit on their paper.  

We follow the same procedure for the CAN side of the tree map.


The use of thinking maps if very prevalent in my district from K-12.  In kindergarten we set the stage for the use of thinking maps for years to come.  This lesson helps the students see that we can use a tree map to combine information onto one map.  They will also see how we can use one map to write multiple sentences.