This Tree is UnbeLEAFable! Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will examine unusual trees as they identify tree parts.


Science Focus:



ELA Skills:

key details, vocabulary, gather information, read a chart


Page 4 Skill:

RI.2.7 read a diagram



trunks, roots, fruits, sprouted, leaves



SL.2.3, RI.2.1, RI.2.4, RI.2.10, W.2.8, RI.2.7


Guided Reading Level: 



Lexile Level:


Provide students with some background on trees.


Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video “Trees, Glorious Trees!” After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following questions:

  • What is a tree’s stem called? (a trunk)
  • In which season do the leaves of some trees change color? (autumn)
  • What tree fact from the video did you find most interesting? Why? (Answers will vary.)


Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured words are trunks, roots, fruits, sprouted, and leaves.

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue, and discuss the cover. What does the tree have that most trees don’t? A HUGE trunk!
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 3: “Think about why each tree’s parts are unusual.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Assessment: Reading Checkpoint (15 min.)

Pass out the Reading Checkpoint to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.

The Build a Plant game reinforces plant parts while letting kids “design” their own wacky plant!

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important ELA skills. Here’s how.


ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words roots, fruit, and leaves..

Editor’s Pick: Amazing Tree Parts (15 min.)

  • The Tree-mendous Trees! skill sheet is a fun way to gather information from the issue. First, children draw the amazing part of each tree they learned about. Then they write the name of the part and what makes it amazing!

ELA Focus: Plant Needs Chart (15 min.)

  • The Way to Grow! skill sheet gives children practice in reading a chart while teaching them what plants need to grow. It’s a great way to add more science content to your lesson.

 Here are two past issues you can use to extend your lesson on amazing plants:

  • Rainbow Plants, April 2019. In this issue, kids learn about plant parts that come in dazzling colors.
  • Giant Pumpkin, October 2017. This issue tells kids exactly what they need in order to grow a humongous pumpkin!

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher Lexile level: 560L
  • Lower Lexile level: 480L