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TEMS and VFMS Summer Reading 2022-2023: 5th Grade

5th Grade Summer Reading:

This summer you are tasked with reading the novel Wishtree by Katherine Applegate AND a book of free choice.  Please know there is no assignment required for the free choice book; just read and enjoy.

See below for the assignment for Wishtree.


About Wishtree

Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this "wishtree" watches over the neighborhood.

You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever. 

(summary from

Author reads the first chapter


After reading Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, choose one of the following activities (1-4) to complete when you have finished reading.  Please be prepared to submit and share your work at the start of the school year.  Instructions explaining when and how to submit your work will be provided by your assigned reading teacher in the first week of school.

Choices 1 – 2 should be a one-page written description in paragraph form.

  1. Learn about the history of wishing trees in various cultures.  How many ways can you discover that people have used wishing trees throughout history?  What is the importance of these trees for the people who bring wishes to them?  Summarize the details you learn, be careful not to copy directly from the internet, restate in your own words.

  1. Why does Francesca want to initially cut the tree down?  Create one list for keeping the tree and one list for cutting it down.  After creating your two lists, review these pros and cons and formulate your opinion explaining which side you are on. 

Choices 3-4 incorporate photography and designing a poster.

  1. Visit the following link -  Create your own Imagine Peace “Tree.”  Add your wishes.  Family and friends can add their wishes as well.  Take a photo of your tree to share and submit.

  1. Make a “before” and “after” poster that shows what Red looks like on the first day of May and then what he looks like on the last day of May.  Students may draw a poster or create a digital poster to share and submit.