Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Reading The Great Kapok Tree

Karen Garcia
Miami-Dade County Schools


Students gain an understanding of the development of plot and how conflicts are resolved in [The Great Kapok Tree] written by Lynne Cherry. Students demonstrate this understanding by completing a story frame.


The student understands the development of plot and how conflicts are resolved in a story.


-A copy of [The Great Kapok Tree] by Lynne Cherry
-Class set of teacher-made SOMEBODY-WANTED-BUT-SO (can be copied from board or duplicated if desired)
-Variety of informational books displayed for students to read


1. Obtain a copy of the book [The Great Kapok Tree] by Lynne Cherry
2. Gather a variety of informational books on the rain forests from the school library so that they will be available for students to read during silent reading time or upon completion of other work. Try to place them somewhere in the classroom where they are easily accessible for the students.
3. Have a class set of 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of white paper for students to create their own charts. Have a few sheets extra on hand for those students who may make an error in the folding process.


1. Call on students (whole-group) to brainstorm about all they know about rain forests.

2. Introduce the story of [The Great Kapok Tree] and explain to the students that there is a problem which needs to be solved in the story. Review with students the meaning of problem (something that goes wrong) and solution (the answer to the problem).

3. Activate students' prior knowledge by asking them if they have ever had a problem that needed to be solved? Call on several students to share.

4. Introduce the SOMEBODY-WANTED-BUT-SO chart. The SOMEBODY is a character in the story: The WANTED is the goal of something they were trying to do in the story: BUT is the problem in the story and the SO part is the solution to the problem.

5. Model the completion of a SOMEBODY-WANTED-BUT-SO chart on the board using the story of THE THREE LITTLE PIGS.

6. Read [The Great Kapok Tree] to the class.

7. Ask students questions regarding story such as what was the problem in the story? What were the events that led to a resolution of the problem? How was the problem solved?

8. Have students fold a sheet of the white paper in half from left to right and repeat so that there are four sections. Students will label the first section SOMEBODY, the second section WANTED, the third section BUT and the four section SO.

9. Have students work on their own to fill in the SOMEBODY-WANTED-BUT-SO chart using the information from the story.


The students will demonstrate an understanding of the the development of plot and how conflicts are resolved in a story by completing a

The final chart should include the following information:
SOMEBODY: a man WANTED:to cut down the Great Kapok Tree BUT:the animals that live in the Rain Forest convinced him not to SO: the man changed his mind and left the rain forest without cutting down the tree.


Modifications for special needs students can be to have them divide their papers in half and demonstrate the problem and solution in a drawing.

Web Links

This Website provides information on rain forests such as what is a rain forest, the description of the different layers of a rain forest, the various animals living in rain forests and other pertinent information
Rain Forests

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