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The Tree Lady Activities and Lesson Plans

Elementary teachers looking for lesson plans and activities for The Tree Lady will love this post. It includes resource recommendations, teaching point ideas, and information about the book.

With a theme of perseverance, this The Tree Lady picture book by H. Joseph Hopkins is a favorite in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. It is sure to be a big hit in your classroom too!

Engage Your Students with The Tree Lady Lesson Plans & Activities in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Read a summary of The Tree Lady.
  2. Check out the teaching ideas for reading comprehension strategies, grammar topics and social emotional learning skills that can be taught using this children’s book.
  3. Download the book companion to make lesson planning simple with The Tree Lady reading comprehension questions, writing prompts, teaching ideas & no-prep extension activities.

THE TREE LADY SUMMARY

H. Joseph Hopkin’s book The Tree Lady is a biography of Katherine Olivia Sessions. It tells the story of how Kate became known as the Mother of Balboa Park, located in San Diego.

Kate grew up in Northern California and loved being in the woods under the trees. Unlike other girls at the time, Kate liked to get her hands dirty and study science. She even went to college to study science and was the first woman to graduate from that school.  

After graduating, Kate moved to San Diego and became a teacher. San Diego was very different than anywhere Kate had lived before. There were no trees and it was a very dry landscape. After a few years of teaching, Kate decided to become a gardener. She made it her mission to bring trees to San Diego. Kate began collecting trees that could grow in San Diego. She wrote letters to gardeners around the world asking for seeds. Soon, there were trees all over San Diego and people were even planting them in their yards.

When a big exposition was coming to San Diego, it was decided the park, Balboa Park, needed more trees for shade. Kate worked to plant trees all over the park. People couldn’t believe the lush park that had been created. Her work planting all the trees made her known as “The Mother of Balboa Park.”

This biography will teach students all about Kate whose love of trees changed the city of San Diego. 

THE TREE LADY LESSON PLAN IDEAS

Each of our 400+ Starts With a Story book companions come with a teacher’s guide to make lesson planning quick and easy, printable worksheets and digital resources that cover ALL of the standards-based reading comprehension skills.

When it comes to writing lesson plans and finding activities for The Tree Lady, we’ve already done all of the heavy lifting for you.

We found this book was especially good at teaching the topics listed below.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

The text-based The Tree Lady reading comprehension questions focus on:

  • summarize / retell
  • analyzing character
  • identifying genre
  • sequencing
  • author’s purpose

LITERATURE-BASED SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING LESSONS

We found this story to be a great SEL picture book to promote:

  • perseverance

GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY & WORD STUDY

  • capitalization
  • irregular verbs
  • possessive nouns
  • time order words

THE TREE LADY ACTIVITIES

You’ll receive all of the following resources aligned to the story:

  • comprehension questions
  • 30 writing prompts with themed paper
  • vocabulary activities
  • word study print & go activities
  • ideas for grammar lessons with focus sentence printables
  • social emotional learning discussion topics
  • graphic organizers to target specific comprehension skills and strategies
The Tree Lady book companion
elementary teacher reading aloud a picture book to her students

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The Tree Lady book cover and sequencing worksheet

BOOK INFO FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

What are the reading levels for The Tree Lady?

  • Lexile® Measure: 760L
  • Guided Reading Level: Q
  • DRA Level: 40
  • Accelerated Reader Level (ARC): 4.5

Who is the author? Who is the illustrator?

The book was written by H. Joseph Hopkins. It was illustrated by Jill McElmurry.

What genre is The Tree Lady?

It is a biography and autobiography book. You may want to check out our genre activities or read our blog post, How to Teach Genre to Elementary Students.

How many pages are in the book?

The story is 32 pages long.

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