Quick summary: During this lesson students explore the importance of trees in the environment. They observe their own sensory and emotional experiences of trees by participating in a Rake thinking tool. Then working as a class they gather insight from an inspirational picture book. Students will then use creative and descriptive language to write a poem about trees while immersed in, and inspired by, nature in the playground. They will then collectively decide how these poems will be used to inform and inspire others about the importance of trees.
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.
We’ve taken elements of this lesson and adapted them for remote learning. You can find this activity here.
- Why are trees important?
- What would the world be like without them?
- How can we tell others about the importance of trees?
- What can we do to protect trees?
- What are the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside?
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 5 English
- Understand the use of vocabulary to express greater precision of meaning, and know that words can have different meanings in different contexts (ACELA1512)
Year 6 English
- Investigate how vocabulary choices, including evaluative language can express shades of meaning, feeling and opinion (ACELA1525)
Syllabus outcomes: EN3-6B.
General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.
Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students select specific vocabulary and use accurate spelling and punctuation.
Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students make considered vocabulary choices to enhance cohesion and structure in their writing.
Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.
Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.
Time required: 60 mins
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – guide and oversee lesson.
Resources required: Seven large pieces of cardboard, each labelled with one of the following: Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste, Smell, Thinking, Feeling/Emotion. Seven whiteboard markers or thick textas. The book Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola. Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet.
Digital technology opportunities: QR codes, digital sharing capabilities.
Keywords: Sustainability, English, literacy, poetry, writing, nature, outdoor, tree, planting, outdoor learning.
Cool Australia would like to thank The Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.