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The Sequoia Lives On

Last updated Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Author: Joanna Cooke
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 1930238851
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2019

Synopsis: From tiny seed to largest tree, the giant sequoia is a living wonder of nature. Numbers fail when trying to describe this ancient and tremendous tree. The giant sequoia begins life as a seed no larger than an oatmeal flake yet can grow as tall as three blue whales stacked chin to tale. The oldest sequoias have lived as long as forty human lifetimes. The largest are so enormous, twenty children holding hands can’t wrap their arms around the trunks! In evocative text and vibrant paintings, The Sequoia Lives On shares the life story of the giant sequoia, casting light on natural questions: How does this tree grow so big? How does it live so long? An extensive author’s note completes the portrait for young readers, inviting them to become the next generation of protectors for the giant sequoia.

Note to readers:
•  There are three pages of sequoia faces a the conclusion of this story: The first and last paragraphs are interesting and appropriate for ages 5 to 6. The remaining paragraphs are great if any of the kids are interesting in hearing more about science, conservation and plant biology.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever hiked or walked in a forest?
•  Do you have a favorite type of tree? Do you know the names of any trees?
•  How many years do you think trees can live?


•  canopy - the highest layer of branches in the forest
•  Chicarees - A small squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasi) of the evergreen forests of northwest North America, resembling and closely related to the red squirrel.
•  larvae - The newly hatched, wingless, often wormlike form of many insects before metamorphosis, differing markedly in form and appearance from the adult.
•  buttress - The flared base of certain tree trunks.
•  immensity - The extreme size of a huge object.
•  decomposes - Causes to rot.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What surprises you the most about sequoias?
•  How does a forest fire help the sequoias grow?
•  What can people do to help protect trees and forests?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of a tree and the creatures that might live in it.
•  Make a collage of a sequoia or favorite tree. Use crinkled paper bag for the trunk.
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Stand and stretch up like a tall tree.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!