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Tree Maps

Do you use tree maps in your classroom?   I have been using them in mine and they really help the students organize their thinking and comprehension of the stories we read.  Sometimes we do them together.  You can do them in small groups or even individually.   You can see the progression of the students' thinking as you read the map.  They started out pretty concrete and simple with their thinking:  is sad, mad; can pick corn; has a hoe, a grinder, etc...  But then they were able to move past that to deeper level thinking for each category.  I loved that one said the Little Red Hen can eat in front of the animals!  Same thing happened in the has category- start out simple, then move beyond that with has no more work to do!  They did a fine job, but hadn't ever come up with the one word I wanted them to think about- lazy.  So on that one word, I tried to direct their thinking by mentioning what kind of friends she had.  Still, they weren't sure so I told them it started with the /l/ sound.  One little guy raised his hand and shouted out " loser friends" just so proud of himself!!  Which to be honest is true if your friends watch you do all this hard work and never once offer to help until it's time to eat.  We decided that maybe we would rather write lazy though instead. :)

I was inspired by the Little Red Hen I found from Pattie at Pattie's Classroom.  Aren't these just adorable?  I don't have long with my students, so I don't like to spend much time on cute stuff.  I modified them a bit and these took only a couple of minutes to make.  Most of the pieces were already cut for them so they could just glue and go read!


  1. Those little red hens are adorable!


  2. I haven't done a lot with tree maps. I sure like how you use them to push for deeper thinking though. That's a great tip.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  3. I like using tree maps! Love those little red hens!

  4. Those are so cute! We might have to do those for our next story. :)
    First with Franklin

  5. Thanks Ashley! The kids so enjoyed them. :)

  6. Tammy, the tree maps are great. I like for the students to get where they can use them independently and think deeply on them. :)

  7. Thanks Connie! Tree maps are great!

  8. Thank you Erin! If you post about it when you do them, let me know. I would love to see it!

  9. Your hens crack me up . . . I love little kid art! Gonna slip this one in my file for next year. Thanks for sharing Lori. If you get a moment (wait . . . do moments even exist in May??), pop in for a visit.

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  10. Thanks Kelley! The hens are funny looking! I am glad you came by my blog and followed so I could find your blog too. :)

  11. You're little chicks are AdOrAbLe! I love doing stories like this where you can do different versions.

    Are you doing a farm unit? There is this really fun book called Book, Book, Book. It's about some farm animals who go to the library and the chicken needs a book, book, book. Get it? =) Of course if falls into the fiction side which we are all trying to balance out with non fiction right now... but it's still a great book and your post reminded me of it!

    =) Jennifer
    Simply Primary

  12. Thank you Jennifer! Thank you for the book recommendation- it sounds like one I need to get! It would fit so well with my theme!


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