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I Like Trees

Elementary

Description

This resource demonstrates how environmental education can be introduced to students at a very young age through the use of fun activities. The theme of trees helps students develop an awareness of different ways living things are adapted to the places in which they live. The resource aims to create empathy and a knowledge base concerning the flora and fauna that inhabit trees in neighbourhoods where students go to school.

Students will:

  • learn how to make a recyclable tree using paper maché or other materials
  • discuss how some trees are homes to little creatures such as birds, squirrels and chipmunks
  • sing and play imaginary games about trees
  • discuss the similarities between our homes and bird nests
  • discuss what they like about trees
  • create and share an I Like Trees idea book  
  • estimate and measure tree trunks using string and rulers
  • visit an exploration table with twigs, a bird’s nest and robins eggs using a magnifying glass. 
  • talk about nutritious foods that grow on trees such as apples
  • explore different leaves (shapes and colours).
  • sort, classify, and compare the leaves, and describe the attributes of the leaves.
  • talk about living things, the colours of leaves, paint leaves or paint pictures of trees and/or leaves.

 

General Assessment

Strengths

  • The resource is very age-appropriate for the younger students and can be adapted for other age groups.
  • Material covered is relevant to the lives of learners.
  • The website is organized and easy to use.
  • Blackline masters are clear, appropriate, and easily accessible.
  • Resource is especially suitable as an introduction to the values of trees.

Weaknesses

  • Need to include some suggestions for guest speakers, field trips etc.
  • Include opportunities for students to share their learning.
  • Need to include some accommodations for students with learning difficulties.
  • Need to include an age-appropriate action component.
  • Include some Canadian case studies

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Kindergarten
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      • English/Language Arts
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        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences
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        • Shape and Space (Measurement)
      • Science
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        • Applying logical thought and creativity enables us to achieve outcomes, solve problems, and develop computational thinking skills
        • The child demonstrates curiosity, interest and a willingness to learn about the environment and community
        • The child uses materials in the environment and community and becomes aware of how others use materials
    • Grade 1
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      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences
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        • Shape & Space
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        • Applying logical thought and creativity enables us to achieve outcomes, solve problems, and develop computational thinking skills.
        • Needs of Animals and Plants
        • Seasonal Changes
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        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences
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        • Create and Communicate
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        • Objects have attributes that can be described, measured, and compared.
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        • Science: Plants and animals have observable features
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        • Create and Communicate
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        • Create and Communicate
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        • Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment
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        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences
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        • Trees
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        • Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences
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        • Characteristics and Needs of Living Things
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        • You and Your World: Place and Community
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        • You and Your World: Our Environment
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        • Daily and Seasonal Changes
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    • Grade 1
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        • To use Language to communicate and learn
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        • Living things
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    • Grade 4
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        • Habitats and Communities
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Kindergarten
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Oral Language (Speaking & Listening)
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Objects have attributes that can be described, measured, and compared.
        • Repeating elements in patterns can be identified
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science: Plants and animals have observable features
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Oral Language
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Objects and shapes have attributes that can be described, measured, and compared.
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1: Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Oral Language Speaking & Listening)
        • Writing & Representing
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Objects and shapes have attributes that can be described, measured, and compare
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2: Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (2)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Interdependence

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory
  • The resource demonstrates how environmental education can be introduced to students at a very young age through the use of fun activities. The resource presents a limited amount of points of view to address the issue.
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory
  • The resource effectively addresses the environmental issues related to trees using an age-appropriate approach, but does not directly address the economic or social dimensions.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Satisfactory
  • This resource is presented as an introduction to the concept of trees and the environment.
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
  • No action experiences are suggested in this resource
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Satisfactory
  • Students are given the opportunity to write what they like about trees and why.
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource.
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good
  • The resource includes practical and respectful outdoor experiences.
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good
  • The resource aims to create empathy and a knowledge base concerning the people, flora and fauna that rely on the trees found in neighbourhoods where students live and go to school.
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Satisfactory
  • The hands-on activities are age-appropriate and encourage students to discover trees through play and discussion.
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good
  • Math
  • Science
  • Health
  • Language Arts
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
  • Some opportunities for discovery learning occur at the exploration table.
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good
  • The resource incorporates age-appropriate activities which address a range of learning styles.
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource.
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good
  • Includes some reflection questions and rubrics.
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered
  • No case studies are provided in this resource.
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory
  • Some extended activities and websites links are provided.
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.