Lesson 17.8: Science Connection

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This Tree Is Alive!

A tree is a plant. A plant is a living thing that is not an animal. A tree has four main parts: roots, a trunk, branches, and leaves. The roots of a tree are important because that is where a tree gets its water from the soil. That is also where a tree stores a lot of its energy. The trunk is the main part of a tree. It keeps the tree standing strong and tall. The trunk also transfers food and water from the roots to the other parts of the tree. The branches of a tree grow from the trunk. The leaves and flowers of a tree grow on branches. The leaves make food for the tree.

Some trees stay green throughout all four seasons and their leaves do not fall off. These trees are called evergreen trees. Other trees have leaves that change color each season. In fall, the green leaves on those trees become red, yellow, orange, or brown. After the leaves change color, they fall from the tree onto the ground. Trees that lose their leaves are called deciduous trees. In winter, most of the leaves have fallen off the trees, exposing their many branches. In early spring, the buds of many trees slowly begin to grow back. In summer, the leaves have all grown back and the trees are full and green.

Trees are important to people and animals for many reasons. Food such as apples, oranges, coconuts, cherries, and almonds grow on trees. In addition, wood, paper, and chocolate come from trees. Some birds, such as robins, blue jays, woodpeckers, and chickadees, build their nests in trees.

Word Wise

branches:
The part of a tree that grows from the trunk and holds flowers or leaves: My new swing hangs from a tree branch.

deciduous:
A tree that loses its leaves: An oak tree is a deciduous tree.

evergreen:
A tree that stays green throughout all four seasons: Many people choose an evergreen for a Christmas tree.

leaves:
The part of a tree that grows on branches and makes food for the tree: In the fall I like to jump in a pile of leaves with my brother.

roots:
The part of a tree that gets water from the soil: The roots of the tree are hidden under the ground.

trunk:
The main part of a tree that keeps it standing strong and tall and transfers food and water from the roots to the other parts of the tree: My friend hid behind the tree trunk in our game of hide-and-seek.

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Activity

Draw a picture of your favorite tree and label its parts: roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. Then show how your tree would look during the four different seasons: summer, fall, winter, and spring.

Data Hunt

The Branches Quiz