Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students choose a tree they can observe over a period of time and record changes and observations. Students design a diagram to show how the tree interacts with the environment, other plants and animals. They include in their diagram the benefits of the tree to people and the impact people may have on the tree.

 

Following this lesson is an ideal way for students to participate in Planet Ark’s Schools Tree Day - the largest nature-care event in Australian schools. You and your students will join thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference, fostering a child’s love of nature and creating positive environmental change. So, get growing! It only takes a minute to register for Schools Tree Day.

Learning goals:

  • Students collect and analyse data about changes in a tree over time. 
  • Students show relationships between the tree, our environment and other living things, including people.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content description: 

Science Year 3

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)
  • Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE050)

Science Year 4

  • Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
  • Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE061)

Syllabus OutcomesST2-4WS, ST2-10LW

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Topic: Biodiversity, Planet Ark Tree Day.

Time required: 20 mins initially; 40 mins after collecting data.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – introduce topic, suggest trees to adopt.

Resources required: Internet access, Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Students can record events and changes in their tree as homework.

Keywords: Tree, adopt, data, observation, habitat.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Background information

Overarching learning goals: Students collect and analyse data about changes in a tree over time, and show relationships between the tree, our environment and other living things, including people.

Teacher content information: In order for students to value and protect the environment they need to connect to it. This activity helps students to get outside amongst nature and build a connection with trees. Ask your students to choose a tree at school and adopt it for a week/month/term. During this time students will collect data about how the tree changes and how the tree interacts with our environment, other plants and animals. Students can use the student worksheet ‘Adopt a habitat tree Activity Sheet’ to record their data. 

Student and classroom organisation

Step 1. Nature Walk

Take your students on a nature walk around the school and discuss some of the questions below:

  • What sort of tree will you choose? Where is your tree? Is it near other trees? Is
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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How long can trees live for?

Adopt a tree data collection

Location of tree:

Type of tree:

Health of tree:

 Data Collection

First
observation
Second
observation
Third
observation
Fourth
observation
Rain yes/no
Wind yes/no
Sunny yes/no
Hot yes/no
Plants affecting the tree
 
 
Mammals
 
 
Birds
 
 
 
Insects
 
 
 
 
Other animals
 
 
 
People
 
 

 

Tree interaction diagram

In the middle of a large sheet of paper, draw an illustration of your tree.

  1. Show on the illustration how our environment interacts with the tree. What is the affect of the sun and weather?
  2. Show how other plants might affect the tree. Make
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