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The Bee Tree
By Patricia Polacco
Page Created by
Krista Mayyou and Emily O'Leary


This page is full of different activities that can be used when your class is reading the book The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco. We created these activities for students in 3rd grade. The three different kinds of activities are; Anticipation, Building, and Consolidating activities.


Anticipation Activities
1. Picture Guess


  • A.4.3 Read and discuss literary and nonliterary texts in order to understand human experience.
  • Identify and summarize main ideas and key points from literature, informational texts, and other print and nonprint sources.


Before the class reads the book The Bee Tree the students will be looking at some pictures from the book with a partner. The pair will study the pictures together to try and figure out what is going to happen in the story without reading it. The students will be looking at the pictures on a Web 2.0 tool called slideshare. All of the words will be covered as to not give more hints. After looking at the pages selected for them, I want the students to discuss and write on a separate sheet of paper what they think the story will be about. This gives the students the chance to show how well they can predict what the story could be about.







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2. Discussion
  • C.4.3 Participate effectively in discussion.
    • Reflect on the ideas and opinions of others and respond thoughtful


In this anticipation activity the students will be creating a map of what they think could happen in this story. They will only have a chance to look at the title. By using their imagination, they need to come up with a many possibilities as they can as to what could happen in the story. For example: the book could be about a tree full of bees. If the tree is full of bees, maybe people will hunt for bees. Once the students have created their map, they will be sharing their ideas with the class. We will go around the room and find all the different and similar ideas that the students created. This tool for creating different ideas is a Web 2.0 tool called mindmeister.


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Building Knowledge Activities
1. Journaling

B.4.1 Create or produce writing to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • Write expressive pieces in response to reading, viewing, and life experiences (narratives, reflections, and letters) employing descriptive detail and a personal voice

This activity will take place while the story is being read to the students. The students will be: making predictions, answering questions, forming new endings, and using creative thinking. While we are reading the book together we will be stopping so that the students have a chance to analyze the story. I might ask them a question like: "If you were on a bee tree hunt, would you want people to join in on your hunt? Why or why not?" The students will be given a short amount of time to answer the question. Students will need to share their answers with the class. The students will also have the opportunity to change parts of the story. This activity is a great way to help connect the students to the story. With this technique they have a chance to add their own thoughts. This helps them focus and follow along with the story. This tool can be found on Kidspiration under the Journal icon.
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2. Cause and Effect

A.4.1 Use effective reading strategies to achieve their purposes in reading.
Discern how written texts and accompanying illustrations connect to convey meaning

A different activity that can be done while reading this book is creating a cause and effect chart. The reason this story took place was because Mary Ellen wanted something fun to do. Throughout the book we see the fun adventure that Mary Ellen and her Grandpa participate in. I want the students to come up with the effects that happened because of their adventure. This will lead into a discussion about cause and effect. Are consequences always bad? Can there be a good lesson we learn when we are having fun? This will give the students a chance to use higher level thinking, and lead into some fabulous class discussions. This tool can also be found on Kidspiration under the Cause and Effect icon.
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Consolidating Activities
Bee Tree Hunt Creator

B.4.1 Create or produce writing to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
    • Write expressive pieces in response to reading, viewing, and life experiences (narratives, reflections, and letters) employing descriptive detail and a personal voice
After the story is finished, the students will get the chance to create their own bee tree hunt. They will type up a map on the Web 2.0 tool bubblus including all of the necessary parts of their hunt. For example: who is coming on the hunt, what supplies might be needed, how long are they going hunting? Once they have their map created, the students will turn their ideas into a well organized paper. An alteration to this activity would be instead of writing a paper the students could write their own bee tree story. They would decide who their main characters are and what happens in the story. New details can be added and the story is made their own. This is a great way to apply what was learned in the story to the students own ideas of what the best bee tree hunt could be like.bubblus_The_Bee_Tree_Activity[1].JPG
2. Story of My LifeA.4.4 Read to acquire information. Identify a topic of interest then seek information by investigating available text resources
In this activity the student will be comparing bits of their lives to Mary Ellen's life. They will be making this comparison using the Story of My Life icon in the program Kidspiration. The student might find some similarities to Mary Ellen. For example Mary Ellen enjoyed spending time with her Grandpa on the bee tree hunt. A student might enjoy going fishing with their Grandpa. Some students might find they have nothing in common with her. This is completely fine. Everyone is not supposed to be the same. This gives the students the opportunity to use higher level thinking to search into their own memories and try to realize differences and similarities. There are many different sections that could be attached to the chart. Depending what information is given in the book will affect what categories can be compared. The story of my life activity can be used with many different books at any given time. This strategy is a fantastic way to have the students use their personal thoughts and memories in connection with the book. This chart is excellent because it can either be a basic chart, or details can be added. This lets the students get creative.
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