Trees can be intriguing! This interest can deepen if children (and adults) have the opportunity to spend time with one individual tree to which they feel drawn. In Tree Exploration, pairs of students choose a tree to study and then get to know it through recording observations, questions, and explanations in a nature journal. Students expand their understanding about trees through discussion and through interpreting a diagram showing interactions between trees and the environment. Students also learn to use a field guide/key for identifying local trees and then return to their original tree to identify it as well as to apply what they’ve learned about trees. Students leave the experience knowing how to identify a few local trees, with a deeper understanding about how trees interact within ecosystems in general and with a relationship with a particular tree.
• Sharpen and practice observation skills.
• Record their observations, questions, and connections through field journaling.
• Learn how to identify trees, using a key or field guide.
• Learn about relationships between trees and other organisms.
• Build a relationship with one specific tree.