Song of the Trees Cover- Prompt Look at the title and picture on the cover of the book to help you make a prediction. What do you think this story is about? Page 1 I don’t know what horizon means. Please clarify, which means explain in your own words, what horizon means? Page 2 Get the meaning of the word cloak from another student, your teacher, or a dictionary. Write a sentence for the word cloak. Page 3-4 Clarify why you might not want to disagree with ‘Big Ma’. Page 5 What small word that you know is in the word canister? Based on that and this sentence, what do you predict canister means? After reading page 5 & 6 can you predict the definition of the word ‘depression’ in your own words? Page 7 If you were Cassie, what is one question you ask Mama or Big Ma? Write Mama or Big Ma then write the question. Look at the picture on page 7. Visualize what you think the inside of Cassie’s house looked like. Describe it in at least three complete sentences. Page 9 ‘Hey cut it out, you two!’ ordered Stacey, entering the room. ‘You fought over that stupid stain yesterday….’ Little Man and I decided to settle our dispute later when Stacey wasn't around. Based on this passage, what do you think dispute means? After checking its meaning, write a sentence using the word dispute. Page 9-10 Times are tough, Mama and Big Ma are worried about money. How would you feel if you were them and what would you do? Page 11-12 Stacey stops and cuts some ‘alligator gum’ from a tree. What question do you have about ‘alligator gum?’ Have you ever had a relative that became sick? How do you think Cassie and her brother Stacey might be feeling now? Page 15 ‘We left the cows at the pond and, taking our berry baskets, we delved deeper into the forest looking for the wild blackberry bushes.’ Delved means searched. Can you think of another word that could replace delved in this sentence without changing the meaning? Write another sentence using the word delved. Page 16 Think of a time you played tag, try to visualize what it would be like playing tag deep in the forest and use descriptive adjectives to explain how that might feel. Page 19 ‘I stared at the trees, aware of an eerie silence descending over the forest.’ Descending means coming down. You may have heard of planes descending when they are landing. Write a sentence for the word descending. Cassie said ‘The trees, Stacey, they ain’t singing no more.’ What did Cassie mean by this and what questions does it bring up for you? Page 22 ‘Two white men emerged. We looked at each other. We knew to be silent.’ This part of the story needs to be clarified. Why did they ‘know to be silent?’ The children overhear Mr. Andersen talking in the woods about cutting down the trees. What do you predict will happen next. Page 23 The children feel angry about what Mr. Andersen says about cutting the trees and their father. Can you think of a time when you have felt this way? Text to self connection. Page 24 When Tom asks Mr. Andersen if he's really going to cut all the trees. Mr. Andersen responds ‘Those folks ain't got no call for them. I do. I got me a good contract for those trees and I aim to fill it.’ Do you think Mr. Andersen has a right to the trees? Why or why not? Page 25 Mr. Andersen stopped rocking. ‘I suggest you encourage Aunt Caroline to sell them trees, Mary. You know David might not always be able to work so good. He could possibly have … an accident.’Could you clarify what Mr. Andersen means by this statement? Page 26 If you could tell Big Ma something at this point in the story, what would you say to her? Page 29 ‘Doc Thomas tells me that Mary's not well. ’He hesitated a moment, then hissed venomously, ‘and if something should happen to David…’ Venom is poison. How do you think Mr. Andersen is talking to Big Ma? Write a new sentence using the term ‘hissed venomously.’ Pg 30 Why did Mama send Stacey to get Pa from the railroad? Do you think it was a good idea? Why or why not? Pg 33 ‘Mama forbade any of us to go into the forest…. but even she could not ignore the continuous pounding of the axes against the trees.’ Write a prediction for what will happen next. Pg 35 ‘Those trees that remained standing were like defeated warriors mourning their falling dead.’ This description is what Cassie felt when she went into the woods with her mother. What question would you have for her about what she was feeling? Pg 38 ‘Spooky and empty,’ I said listlessly. Listlessly means without emotion. Write a sentence that uses the word listlessly in it. Pg 39 Little Man said, ‘Everybody’s always going someplace ‘cepting me.’ And off he went. Can you think of a time when you felt like Little Man? What did you do? Pg 45 When Cassie’s dad showed up they were about to get the belt. ‘They had been right meddlesome,’ Mr Andersen said. ‘They need teaching how to act.’ What do you predict is going to happen next? Pg 49 One thing you can’t seem to understand Andersen,’ Papa said, ‘is that a black man’s always gotta be ready to die. And it don’t make me any difference if I die today or tomorrow. Just as long as I die right.’ Can you clarify this statement in your own words? Why does David say ‘a black man always have to be ready to die?’ Pg 52 When Mr. Andersen told David he wouldn’t always have that ‘black box’ he replied, ‘That may be. But it won’t matter none. Cause I’ll always have my self-respect.’ Think of a time when you did something that wasn’t fun or an easy choice but you knew it was the right thing to do. Text to self. One paragraph. Page 54: Now it's time to think about the whole story. Think about these two questions. Number one, what was your favorite part of the story? and Number two, would you recommend this story to a friend or family member? Why or why not? Page 55: Think about the strategies that you have been using to read Song of the Trees, feeling, visualizing, summary, clarify, questioning, prediction, re-telling. Which strategy is your favorite? Tell me why. The End: Can you retell this story to your teacher or to a friend?
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