82 pages 2 hours read

Sean Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Nonfiction | Book | YA | Published in 1998

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Discussion/Analysis Prompt

Imagery of trees appears throughout The 7 Habits of High Effective Teens. Consider how Covey describes the value of a personal mission statement in Chapter 5 of the book: “A personal mission statement is like a tree with deep roots. It’s stable and it’s not going anywhere, but it’s also alive and continually growing. Standing like a tree with deep roots helps you survive all the storms of life that beat you up.” What is the author trying to convey here? Unpack the deeper meaning behind this quote and, in general, discuss how trees function as a symbol throughout the book.

Teaching Suggestion: It may be beneficial to guide students to an understanding that trees serve as a powerful symbol of the author’s habits. As with the seven habits, trees have deep roots that can stabilize our lives and, potentially, lead to tremendous growth. What is more, trees—again, just like the seven habits—can support us, helping us to stand tall no matter how difficult life may be. There is also a comparison to be made between the collective impact of habits and the accumulation of trees as they grow, year by year.

Differentiation Suggestion:  Visual learners and/or students who would like to flex their creativity might draw a tree that, in their mind’s eye, represents the various messages that Covey conveys using related imagery.