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I Have an Olive Tree

Last updated Thursday, May 1, 2008

Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: Karen Barbour
Date of Publication: 1999
ISBN: 0060275731
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2008

Synopsis: From amazon.com: The day I was seven, my grandfather gave me an olive tree...At first, Sophia thinks the tree is an odd gift, but when Grandfather dies and her mother travel to Greece to see the tree, she discovers that what he has given her is far greater than she had ever imagined. A testimony to the wondrous ties of family and heritage, this glorious picture book brings together the beautiful writing of acclaimed author Eve Bunting and the exuberant paintings of artist Karen Barbour.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Where is your family from? Have you ever visited there? Look for it on a map.
•  Have you ever seen an olive tree?
•  Do you ever climb trees?
•  What is your favorite tree?
•  Olive trees are in Greece. Do you know where Greece is? Look for it on a map.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever taken a boat, train, or plane to visit your family?
•  Are there any stories or items that are passed down in the family?
•  Do you speak the language your grandparents speak?
•  Are there any customs or traditions that your family follows?
•  Do you wear any traditional clothing? When do you wear it and why?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw yourself in the traditional clothing of your grandparents.
•  Draw a tree that could represent your family. In the branches and leaves draw or place items that are important to your family. Write your parents, grandparents, sisters/brothers names in the leaves or branches.

*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!