Children are often surprised to learn how many different products we get from trees. Use this activity to help children learn just how much we depend on trees in our daily lives.
Doing the Activity
Take a walk with children, and bring along a daypack filled with a few tree products, for example, fruit (e.g., apple, orange, mango), a pencil and a journal or a book, sunblock, and chewing gum.
Pick up a downed tree branch and ask where it came from (a tree). Eat the fruit, and ask children where it came from (a store? a tree?). Ask children to think of other items that come from trees. Discuss some unusual tree products, using the samples from your daypack.
Ask critical questions, including:
- Have you used anything that comes from trees today?
- How are tree products alike and how are they different?
- What do you like most about trees?
In addition to giving us wood, paper, food, and other products, trees are invaluable assets to our communities. Take a walk through a local park, and look for newly planted trees and shrubs. How are they protected? Find a place without trees, and compare it with a place with many. Which place do you like best? Why?
- The Tree Farmer by Chuck Leavell and Nicholas Cravotta, ISBN: 1893622169
A children’s story about the gifts of trees and our responsibility to care for them.
Get the Full Activity
This family activity is adapted from Project Learning Tree’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide which can be obtained through an in-person professional development workshop or online course.
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