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Inspired by the book "A Tree is Nice" by Janice May Udry, this resource engages students in learning about the special characteristics of trees that makes them so important to both humans and the environment. With an emphasis on taking students outside to explore trees in their natural habitat the activities also reinforce the concept that all of us can and should be "tree stewards".
By the end of this lesson students will be able to:
This lesson complements and includes the children's book "A Tree is Nice" which has already been reviewed on the website. Pairing this lesson plan with the book will make an excellent companion to any Science unit with a plant theme while integrating ELA outcomes related to reading and responding to literature.
During the lesson students identify useful products that come from trees. Further exploration could have the class select a product and investigate the process from tree to commodity. A field trip to a local mill could even be arranged.
One of the key aspects of sustainable forests is paper recycling. A class could initiate a project where they learn more about this process and how to identify products made from recycled paper. Younger students could make seed planters out of scrap paper and raise tree seedlings that could be planted at home or school.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
This lesson supports a conservation ethic while students learn about the science of trees. There is also some excellent teacher background information that identifies most of the issues surrounding forest degradation and conservation.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Activities include discussions about the environmental and social benefits of trees. Economic impacts of forest use are not specifically addressed but a teacher can easily make the connection between forests and the economy during the dialogue about the value of trees.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Due to the young target audience this lesson is very simple in nature but an effort is made to encourage students to consider the loss of trees from a forest ecosystem perspective.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
The lesson has some excellent discussion surrounding the concept of stewardship but no specific action initiatives are supported.
|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
Children are encouraged to consider the value of trees in their own lives thus they are able to develop meaningful and personally relevant ideas related to the topic.
|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 relevant to the purpose of this lesson.
|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 lesson can be implemented as an indoor or outdoor activity but taking students outside as suggested will deepen their connection to the natural world.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The lesson provides students with an authentic, local experience since trees are found almost everywhere in Canada and very few children have never experienced the joy of playing in and around trees.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Students learn that trees are among the oldest living plants on Earth and are asked to consider the past and present day impacts of human actions on forests. The stewardship philosophy of this lesson also fosters a conservation ethic in young learners who will become the environmental citizens of the future.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
By integrating the book with the active exploration of trees students are able to develop their own ideas about the topic of conservation
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This resource supports both English Language Arts and Science learning outcomes.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
If a teacher follows the resource recommendation to take students outside to observe trees in their natural setting there is a tremendous opportunity for students to actively explore.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction||Poor/Not considered|
The activities include a great deal of reading and writing content which could prove difficult for some students. No support strategies are identified in the lesson.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The activities can occur inside or outside but would be much more experiential if the lesson occurs outside as suggested.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students are able to engage in think-pair-share learning during the matching activity. The remainder of the lesson is designed for whole class learning.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
No specific assessment strategies are included in the resource, although the teacher could use the drawing and labelling activity as a formative assessment.
|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|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The topic of trees is so relevant that a teacher could easily locate examples within their own community of forested areas and areas where trees have been removed, thereby strengthening student connections to the subject.
|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||Poor/Not considered|
|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.|