The Giving Tree is a tale of unconditional love. The boy takes and takes from the tree without ever saying thank you, but the tree never seems to mind and is always willing to give more without a second thought. This book can help children of all ages understand the importance of being thankful and appreciative of what they have no matter how small.
A great activity to go along with this book is to have students write a letter to the person, place or thing that gives them unconditional love. It can be a family member, friend, animal or toy it will completely be their choice.
Another great message in this book is the environmental issue. The boy takes from the tree until there is nothing left but a stomp. This what we as humans do to the earth, we take from it without giving anything back sometimes. I would incorporate this book into "Green Week" and have students come up with ways we can give back to the earth. Depending on the grade level they could draw, write or use technology to display their ideas.