Back to Lessons

Sacrifice - The Story of The Giving Tree

Suggested Grade Level

Suggested Values

Suggested Subject Matter

2 Sacrifice English/Language Arts/Social Studies

Students will:
• Define the word sacrifice.
• Provide examples of sacrifice in their communities and lives.
• Describe sacrifices they have made in their own lives.
• Describe reasons sacrifice is valued in society.

Category: Primary

Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Core Value Focus: Sacrifice

Suggested definition - The act of giving up something that you want to keep, especially in order to get
or do something else or to help someone.

Recipient Focus: All recipients

Introductory Activity:
The students will watch a Disney Clips video, which features sacrifices in Disney movies. The class will
do a pair-share to discuss the sacrifices that were observed in the video. A whole group discussion will
follow the pair-share.

Small Group Activity:
The teacher will read the book The Giving Tree to the students. The group will then work together
to answer the following questions:

1. How did the tree show sacrifice?
2. What happened at the end of the story to the tree?
3. What is the ultimate sacrifice?
4. Is sacrifice a way to show love?
5. Why do people sacrifice?
6. Have you seen someone sacrifice for someone else?
7. What is a sacrifice that you could do?
8. Does sacrificing make you a hero?

Concluding Activity:
Brainstorm examples of sacrifice they see in other movies, books or in their everyday lives. Students should
be prepared to share their examples in the next class period.

Assessment: teacher observation

Extended Activities:
Show YouTube clips identified under Resources below.

Brainstorm ways that students can show sacrifice in their own lives (fundraiser, volunteering, etc.)

Possible modification for advanced/older students - (5th grade standards in most states): Show different
Google Slides of the amputees and lead them into discussion about what the amputees have in common.
Lead them to understand that all of them gave up a part of themselves for the greater good of their country
or their military brethren as a sacrifice.

The Giving Tree Poem
Teaching Introduction to Sacrifice using Disney clips:
Sacrifice Disney clips:
Big Hero 6 My Sacrifice clip:
Google slides of amputees:

Quotes on the focus core value:
Think about the past and consider the sacrifices men and women in the military have made for us.
- Gary G. Wetzel, Army-Vietnam War

“Millions have served in the military and made sacrifices, and most have gone unrecognized.”
- George E. Wahlen, Navy-World War II