Beacon Lesson Plan Library

It's the Real Thing

Janice Jowers
Okaloosa County Schools


THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein is read to the students followed by a discussion of what is real in the story and what is make-believe. The students then read some sentences and decide if they are real or make-believe.


The student identifies examples of fact, fiction, or opinion in text.


- THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein, HarperCollins Pub., 1986.
- Real and Make-Believe Introduction lesson on a transparency (see Associated File)
- Overhead projector
- Worksheet to check comprehension of differentiating between real and make-believe (see Associated File)
- Chart Paper/markers or another writing surface


- Obtain a copy of THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein
- Download materials from the Associated File
- Prepare an overhead copy of the Real or Make-Believe Introduction transparency. (see Associated File)
- Obtain an overhead projector
- Make enough copies of the Real or Make-Believe worksheet (see Associated File) for each student to have a copy.
- Obtain chart paper/markers or use another writing surface.


Note: Students are not identifying examples of opinion in this lesson.

1. Read THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein aloud to the students.

2. Explain that the story has some parts that are real and some that are make-believe.

3. Show the Real or Make Believe Introduction transparency lesson (see Associated File) on the overhead projector. Discuss with the students which parts of the story are real and record their answers. Then discuss the parts of the story that are make-believe and record those answers.

4. Discuss with the students how they can determine whether a statement is real or make-believe.

5. Distribute the Real or Make-believe worksheet (see Associated File) for the students to complete.

6. Answer a couple of the sentences with the students to make sure they understand.


Use the Real or Make-Believe worksheet to assess the studentsí understanding of viewpoint. The students should complete the worksheet with 80% accuracy. Students not scoring 80% accuracy should be retaught and reassessed.


The students could write in random order, three sentences that are real and three sentences that are make-believe. They can then exchange their sentences with another student and determine which of each otherís sentences are real and which make-believe. The students could then illustrate one of the sentences.
The students who have difficulty reading should work with a partner to enhance their comprehension of this reading skill.

Web Links

Web supplement for Itís the Real Thing
Is It Moose, Mooses or Moose-Meese

Web supplement for Itís the Real Thing
Reading Comprehension

Web supplement for Itís the Real Thing
Discovery School (Language/Literature- a good reference for teachers)

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