By way of trees in the neighborhood and a mystery box, students will explore their sense of touch and discover different shapes and textures in nature.
This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
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:
BeLEAF it or Not: How to Identify Trees
Learn about tree Identification in this “BeLEAF it or Not” video How To Identify Trees. Michigan foresters, Bill Cook and Georgia Peterson, explain some identification characteristics of trees, such as bark, buds, fruits, and leaves. They also explain the Latin/two-part scientific names for living things that allow people throughout the world to communicate unambiguously about species. Intended for students in grades four through seven, the episode has an accompanying resource page.
Read Tree Dreams, an eco-literacy coming of age novel for grades 8-12, written by award winning Kristen Kaye. The story emerged from a campaign to bring tree tagging to life. Kaye’s vision was to tag trees with dreams about the way we connect to nature, to each other, and to our future. She explains that, “like trees that share chemical messages through their root system for the benefit of the grove, Tree Dreamers’ tags share” messages of community that connect us all—kindness, wonder, stewardship (Kaye, treedreams.net/about). Read the book with your high school students and connect with nature by tree tagging.
Are you looking for additional sources of unbiased environmental information? These engaging, animated YouTube videos provided by ForestInfo help simplify complex forestry topics. With their site currently under construction, ForestInfo offers resources designed to facilitate informed decision-making regarding forestry-related issues for teachers, students, forestry professionals, and those with a general interest in protecting, managing, and enhancing the natural environment.
Junior Ranger Activity Book
In 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrated a milestone birthday, 100 years! In celebration of its centennial, NPS created the Centennial Junior Ranger Activity Book. Explore the history of the National Park Service and complete fun activities with this printable book. While this book is geared for 4th grade students, all are welcome to enjoy.
Education in Nature
Visit the Educator Center, part of Georgia-Pacific’s Education in Nature program, for lesson plans, brochures, videos and activities on an assortment of environmental topics and nature subjects for students in grades 2–5. Search the subject areas for natural resources, energy, and paper recycling to find supplemental information and teaching ideas for PLT activities.
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.
The Secret Life of Trees
This animated presentation for students in grades 3-5 explains in detail how an acorn becomes a tree. The audio is available in English and Spanish.
Leaf Shapes (pdf) – Use these leaf outlines with the “Dance with leaves” group experience. If you are unable to collect real leaf examples from your home or schoolyard, consider using these colorful photographed alternatives.