In this activity children develop their observation skills by
applying their senses to the study of life in and around a single
tree. The observations can be done as a whole class project in
school or as an individual project at home.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Small notebook or pad of paper
- Pencils and crayons
- Magnifying glass
- 8 1/2" x 14" construction paper
- Yarn or ribbon
- Tape measures
- Copies of Take a Closer Look (print - out and copy)
WHAT TO DO
- Explain to children that they are going to adopt a tree. To do so,
they will learn all they can about the tree and record what they
learn in a journal.
- With the class, take a walk to locate a nearby tree. The tree
you choose should look healthy and stand out somewhat from
other trees for easy recognition.
- Distribute copies of Take a Closer Look and read it aloud
- You can determine over what period of time you wish the
observations to take place. If enthusiasm is high, you may wish to
extend the activity for more than one season so children can note
- To make a Tree Journal, fold the construction paper in half and
tie the pages into book form with yarn or ribbon. After children
make observations, have them sign their observations and/or
drawings and paste them into the journal. Display the finished
journal in the classroom science center.
- Have children collect different kinds of leaves and put them
between sheets of waxed paper and iron them. Then cut out each
leaf, trimming the paper with pinking sheers for an attractive
edge. Use the pressed leaves for window or wall decorations.
- Use tree products for counting activities. For example, have
students count the number of needles in a cluster of pine needles,
the number of leaves in a leaflet from an ash tree, and so forth.
- Have children make birthday or holiday cards using tree motifs.
They can trace and color leaves, use bark rubbings, or draw
flowers and fruits from their adopted tree.
You may download, print and make copies of this page for use in your classroom,
provided that you include the copyright notice shown below on all such copies.
Copyright © 1997 Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved.