speech and language teaching concepts for the carpenter's gift a christmas tale about the rockefeller center tree in speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/r/ medial


helping others

Book Details:

Diverse Characters: N/A
Age Recommendation: Early Childhood, Elementary, Late Elementary

The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree

By David Rubel

Opening in Depression-era New York City, The Carpenter's Gift tells the story of eight-year-old Henry and his father selling Christmas trees. They give a Christmas tree to construction workers building Rockefeller Center and celebrate together. Through the kindness of the construction workers and neighbors, Henry gets his wish for a nice, warm home to replace his family's drafty shack. He plants a pinecone from that first Rockefeller Center Tree. As an old man, Henry repays the gift by donating the enormous tree that has grown from that pinecone to become a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. After bringing joy to thousands as the Rockefeller Center tree, its wood will be used to build a home for another family in need.

This Christmas book that is based on a true story, can be used in speech therapy to address character analysis. It is also great for discussing social/emotional concepts, such as helping/serving others and teaching others! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale About the Rockefeller Center Tree in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complex episodes

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
social/emotional concepts
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (regular past tense)


“The Great Depression,” complain, treat, passerby, several

Character Analysis:

Henry is eager to help his father. He experiences an act of service and compassion, then when he grows older, he chooses to serve others.


helping/serving others
celebrating Christmas with others
Frank teaches Henry

How did Henry feel about going to New York City with his dad?


verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (regular past tense)
complex sentence structure
prepositional phrases


How do you think Henry feels about leaving the remaining trees at the construction site?
Why do you think Henry didn’t want to think about “the hard times”?
How do you think Henry’s dad felt whenever Frank and his crew offered to built their family a home?

If you are interested in seeing other Christmas books to use in therapy, then check out the Narrative Teaching Points Book List for a printable copy.