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This learning experience takes students outside to explore the fascinating world of forest ecosystems. Trees provide food, water and shelter for a huge diversity of living organisms. Students will increase their awareness of the types of animals and plants that depend on tree habitats by becoming nature detectives who investigate the mysterious world of local trees as they:
Identify and describe plants and animals living on and around a tree.
Consider how structural features of a tree help these woody plants survive in their environment.
Compare and contrast habitat features of a tree to their own living space.
This resource supports elementary science curriculum relating to habitats and ecosystems. Plant growth concepts are included by having learners make connections between form and function of tree structures like leaves. The activity also provides the opportunity for students to become mindfully connected to trees and nature.
This educational experience could be extended by having a class examine micro-habitats on a tree such as an area of lichen on the north side of the trunk where there is less sun exposure or a decaying branch which has insect larvae living under the bark.
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