Resources for PreK-8 Activity 21 – Adopt a Tree

Students “adopt” a tree, deepening their awareness of individual trees over time and encouraging a greater understanding and appreciation of their local environment.

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. 

STUDENT PAGES

Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:

Adopt a Tree Activities (PDF)

Adopt a Tree Certificate (PDF)

 

Spanish Student Page(s):

Actividades para Adoptar un arbol (PDF)

Certificado de Adopcion de un Arbol (PDF)

STEM STRATEGIES

Engage students in real-world applications of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.

Try these STEM Connections for this PLT activity:

RECOMMENDED READING

Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals while building upon concepts learned in this activity with the following children’s book recommendations:

FAMILY ACTIVITY

Try a simple variation of this activity to engage children in the outdoors at home. Download this fun and easy-to-do family activity.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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:

  • Tree Dreams

    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.

  • 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.

  • Science of Seasons

    Check out the Science of Seasons page from the Forest Service Northern Research Station. This extensive resource includes podcasts, research stories, and publications related to the impacts winter has on forest ecosystems. Learn why you should resist the temptation to call winter the “dormant season.” From the soil to hydrology to wildlife, there is much more going on in winter than meets the eye!

  • Go Plant a Tree!

    In this short video from PBS Plum Landing, see how students work with a local arborist to plant a tree in their community. Underneath the video, you’ll find some simple conversation starting questions and additional resources to inspire your students.

  • Tree Flip-Up Diagram

    This is an enlarged version of the same diagram from Activity 21: Adopt a Tree

  • Tips for Taking Students Outside

    Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center has put together some short, simple, and practical recommendations to help effectively incorporate use of an outdoor classroom. Suggestions include finding an experienced mentor, scheduling a set time for taking students outdoors, and examining learning standards to see what are best taught outside.

  • A Forest Year

    Check out this video, which captures 15 months of a forest’s life. This 3-minute time lapse video was created from 40,000 photographs. Photographer Samuel Orr took pictures out of the same window in his home to create this forest montage. This forest snapshot is just outside of Bloomington, Indiana and was photographed between 2006 and 2008. You can visit Samuel’s website to learn more about the making.

  • LeafSnap

    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.

  • EasyMeasure

    A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple devices (SmartMeasure for Android). EasyMeasure uses the height of the camera lens and its tilt angle to calculate the distance to objects of your choice. Simply aim your mobile device at any object, and this app displays the distance towards that object on top of the camera image. Upgrades can be used to also calculate object height.

  • You-Tube Dendrology

    Dr. Don Leopold, State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry professor, has identified a total of 135 tree species on You-Tube. These 2-minute, high definition videos briefly summarize how to identify each tree species, its ecological characteristics and importance, and communicate fun facts. While the list of native and non-native tree species is familiar to Northeastern landscapes, many western U.S. tree species are also covered. These vignettes are also all available for free on i-Tunes.

  • AllTrails

    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.

  • Scratch

    Using Scratch, educators of all ages and levels can program interactive stories, games, and animations and share their creations in an online community. Click on For Educators to access tips and resources for using Scratch in the classroom, including an introductory video, how-to tutorials, and a webinar. Teachers can also join the ScratchEd community to connect and collaborate with other educators using Scratch.

  • Create Your Own Book App

    Be the author, illustrator, and editor of your own literary adventure with Book Creator, an app that can be downloaded for the iPad from the iTunes store.  Book Creator allows anyone to create and share their own journals, text books, children’s picture books and photobooks that can be designed with a multitude of text and image formatting options.  This app offers a variety of printing and electronic sharing options that help its customers of all ages distribute their books to relatives, friends, and colleagues.

  • Digital Notebook Template

    Want to go paperless in your classroom and experiment with digital note keeping? Read educator Nick Mitchell’s Scientific Teacher blog for ideas to transform the way you and your students take notes. This blog details using digital notebooks in the classroom, including basic information on why digital notebooks are useful and how to get started with free existing, provided templates.

  • Leaf Shapes

    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.