Activity Introduction

cc-primary16-heroQuick summary: During this lesson students reflect on the way they view and use trees, and how nature can be used in poetry to express ideas and convey messages about conservation. They begin by taking a walk around the school yard, then read Shel Silverstein’s book The Giving Tree. As a class they brainstorm verbs, nouns and adjectives from nature, and use these to independently write a Diamond Poem about trees to share with a chosen audience.

This lesson is designed to be taught outside. It contains all the tools required for students to reap the benefits of being outdoors while learning the outcomes of the Australian Curriculum. By spending time outdoors and connecting to nature, students are more likely to care for and conserve nature as adults.


Essential questions:

  • How do we use natural resources, such as trees?
  • What are the subsequent consequences of using trees?
  • What are the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside?

21st century skills:

giving tree skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 3 English

  • Understand how different types of texts vary in use of language choices, depending on their purpose and context (for example, tense and types of sentences) (ACELA1478)

Year 4 English

  • Understand how texts vary in complexity and technicality depending on the approach to the topic, the purpose and the intended audience (ACELA1490)

Syllabus outcomes: EN2-8B.

General capabilities: Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 3 English achievement standards: Students demonstrate understanding of grammar and choose vocabulary and punctuation appropriate to the purpose and context of their writing. They re-read and edit their writing, checking their work for appropriate vocabulary, structure and meaning.

Relevant parts of Year 4 English achievement standards: Students create structured texts to explain ideas for different audiences. They demonstrate understanding of grammar, select vocabulary from a range of resources and use accurate spelling and punctuation, re-reading and editing their work to improve meaning.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 60+ mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – guiding the lesson and assisting students, as needed.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Copy of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Six pieces of cardboard and six thick textas/markers. Six copies of Nature Diamond Poem. One copy of Tree Diamond Poem for each student. Device capable of presenting a website to the class (optional). Device capable of playing music (optional).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Conservation, trees, resources, natural, environment, poetry, poems, literacy, outdoor learning.

Cool Australia would like to thank The Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.

Youngman Trust Logo

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

cc-primary2-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will be able to identify nouns, adjectives and verbs, and will understand how to create a poem using a variety of these words. Students will also recognise how poems can be used to express ideas on a topic and to communicate a message to a chosen audience. Finally, students will develop their understanding of the importance of trees, to both nature and people.

Outdoor learning information:

Outdoor Learning Series:


To help guide teachers through suggested activities in this lesson, we have developed a series of icons designed to show what types of activities are involved and where these activities may take place (see Learning Activity Key below).

learning activity icons key updated-v3

This lesson is designed to support students and teachers undertaking the Outdoor L

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What do trees give us and what do we give trees?

Two Stars and a Wish

Think of TWO things you have learnt about trees in this lesson.


Think of ONE wish you have about how your poem could be used to encourage other people to take care of trees.

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