In these experiences, children will explore trees and their parts by using the sense of touch. They may feel rough bark, spongy moss, sharp thorns, and sticky sap.
This is one of 11 activities that can be found in PLT’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s Early Childhood guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:
Family and Friends Page
Spanish Student Page:
Familia y amigos
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
Photo Stuff With Ruff
Based on the PBS animated digital series The Ruff Ruffman Show, this app helps students discover the “stuff ” their world is made of. The Photo Stuff with Ruff app can be used in the classroom as part of lessons exploring materials science. In this camera-based experience, students will learn about science by exploring their surroundings and taking pictures of different materials to complete silly scenes. Play it together and record and share your observations in fun, creative ways!
Fruit Tree 101 Program
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation’s Fruit Tree 101 program brings high-quality fruit trees and shrubs, equipment, on-site orchard design expertise and oversight, horticultural workshops, and aftercare training and manuals to schoolyards across the country. By planting fruit trees, students will improve the surrounding air, soil, and water and provide a local source of healthy nutrition. There is no deadline to apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Recipients must be public schools, nonprofits, or government entities that own the planting site, showcase commitment to caring for the trees in perpetuity, have a source of irrigation nearby, and can help coordinate local volunteers to participate on the day of planting.
Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down? – for Grades 1-3
In order to reduce tree hazards, protect other trees, or to get wood, it is sometimes necessary to cut trees. Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?, a 41-page book published by the U.S. Forest Service, teaches students in grades 1–3 why it is important to sometimes remove trees from the environment. The book also provides tips for planting a new tree. It is available for free download as a PDF, or you can purchase a hardcopy.
Early Childhood Education
Are you looking to tap into the Early Childhood education arena? Visit All Education Schools’ clearinghouse of early childhood education resources to explore professional organizations, licensing and credentials, reliable research, educator blogs, and more – all related to Early Childhood. Whether you’re just embarking on an early childhood education career or already work with children, you’ll find plenty of useful information.
Let’s Play Outside Literacy Cards for ELLs
Check out this preschool picture book (literacy cards) of outdoor words and actions, created by the Collaborative Leadership Fellows Program at the University of Minnesota Rochester. The cards feature outdoor play action words such as “draw,” “climb,” and “jump” in multiple languages. The words are also depicted using an image and the language translations are available for English, Spanish, Chinese, Cambodian, Somali, and Arabic. The languages were selected based on high populations of individuals speaking them in the mid-western United States. Download the “Let’s Play Outside!” booklet to connect with English Language Learners (ELLs) near you!
Leafsnap is a free app that can be downloaded onto the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (Andriod version in development). Leafsnap uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from individual leaf photographs you take in the field. This application contains high-resolution images of bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and more. Currently Leafsnap specializes in tree species found in the Northeastern United States, but expansion to include all US regions is underway.
Tree Product Images
Print-out pages containing many examples of everyday products that come from trees!
A free app that can be downloaded onto any Apple device (try iBird Lite for Android). Use WildLab Bird to learn the basics of bird identification. This application uses audio, photographs, maps, and the process of elimination to help identify over 200 bird species. Sightings can also be entered into a national bird watching database for comparison.
A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple and Android devices. AllTrails helps users to get out and discover the outdoors. Use it to plan a national park visit, find a hiking path near home, or map a new trail of your own! AllTrails can help you find local places to run, hike, bike, fish, and more in the outdoors. You can even upload photos and images to trails you create.
A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple devices. This story production tool can be used to create a personal story and enhance it by adding your own drawings, audio, and animation. The illustrations can be moved, expanded, reduced, or rotated with touch, and you can record your own voice as narrator.
A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple or Android devices. This is a good tool for teachers and classrooms. Easily create bar, line and pie charts that you can customize, save and e-mail or upload. The charts you create can be saved using multiple color schemes and in multiple sizes. The app also works without an internet connection.
Epic! For Educators
Are you looking for new literature connections to support your favorite PLT lessons? This growing Epic! online library offers thousands of picture books, chapter books, early readers, and even nonfiction books (think Common Core Connections!) that elementary teachers can access free of cost. Registered users receive unlimited access to books and customized recommendations for readers’ age levels and interests. Epic! is available for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.
Nature Maestro® App Series
With Nature Maestro®, sound recordist and composer Dennis Hysom is your guide. Use this series of applications to explore sounds in nature. You might compose a soundscape for the rainforest, build a nature scene using audio paired with imagery, and discover fun facts about animals all along the way. Immerse yourself in these biomes to compose and share creative soundscapes and then share them with others.