Mindfulness, Biodiversity and Wellbeing

Schools Tree Day (and National Tree Day) is all about regeneration – whether it’s ecosystems recovering from the vicious bushfires, or our mental and emotional recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

Whilst Schools Tree Day occurs each year at the end of July, these lessons offer so much more and can be used in the classroom any time of the year.

In particular, our units of work focusing on mindfulness and wellbeing are best when used regularly throughout the year and help to develop skills in focus, resilience, emotional intelligence and regulation of the body and emotions.

School Tree Day Competition

The Schools Tree Day competition is now open. Planet Ark wants to see students visualise how trees interact with the non-living things (elements) in their environment. The competition closes on 30th July 2021. Enter Here

Why are Trees so important for the environment?

Each year thousands of schools across Australia take part in National Schools Tree Day by getting their hands dirty and planting a few. But why are trees so important for the environment anyway? Check out this video to see how other schools have been participating each year.

Brand New Lesson!

How Trees Interact With The Elements – Science – Years 4 to 6

Students explore how trees interact with the non-living things (elements) in their environment. They begin by thinking about and sharing the ways they personally interact with trees. Students then work in groups to investigate how trees interact with one element in our environment, choosing from air, water, light, fire and the earth. They work in their groups to research this factor and its relationship to trees before communicating their research through a jigsaw sharing strategy. Finally, students work independently or collaboratively to create posters for Schools Tree Day that share the results of their research.

Get involved as a school.

Planet Ark’s National Tree Day has become Australia’s largest community tree-planting event. 

Check out the National Tree Day website for ways to get involved this year and for other nature themed resources. 

2021 dates:

  • Schools Tree Day – July 30
  • National Tree Day – August 1

#NationalTreeDay

Schools Tree Day Education Resources

Following these lesson plans is an ideal way for your school to take part in the largest nature-care event in Australian schools, Planet Ark’s Schools Tree Day.  You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference, fostering a child’s love of nature and creating positive environmental change. So, get growing!

How to Plant a Tree! –
All Year Levels

This resource helps students learn how to plant, and care for a seedlings. It encourages young people to head outside into nature to care for and appreciate their local environment.

What is Biodiversity? –
All Year Levels

Build an understanding of the word ‘biodiversity’. Students will begin to understand the concept of biodiversity and explore why there is poor public understanding of the word. They will then create a word cloud that demonstrates their understanding.

[email protected] – Schools Tree Day – Biodiversity
– Ages 10-12

In this activity, you will learn about biodiversity, and the ways that trees support a variety of life, so you can see the importance of maintaining or replanting forest areas.

Dirtgirl Shows Us How
to Plant!
– Early Learning – Year 4

Each year, thousands of people across Australia take part in Schools Tree Day. This activity is designed to help students learn about how to plant, and care for the seedlings they grow during Schools Tree Day.

People Trees!
– Early Learning

In this activity children will be asked to relate the parts of a tree to the human body, such as the trunk of the tree as the torso and the branches as arms. They will then create drawings of ‘people trees’.

Get to Know a Tree
– Early Learning

Students will be guided through an article arguing that Jacinda Ardern is showing exceptional leadership skills and then write their own text about a leader they admire.

Be a Tree
– Early Learning

Children are asked to investigate what plants need to grow and survive and how this can be related to what humans need to grow and survive. Children dance along to the dirtgirlworld song Grow Up and role-play a seed growing into a plant. 

Who Needs a Tree?
– Foundation

Children think about the ways that animals use trees. They identify a range of native animals and think about how they use the trees as habitat and for food. Children then go outside and attach pictures of animals to the parts of a tree that they think the animals use.

Local Forest Mural
– Years 1 & 2

Students take part in a nature walk to connect to their local environment. They demonstrate their prior knowledge of ecosystems by contributing to a class mural. 

What makes us click isn’t a device – Years 1 to 6

Students explore their own understanding and experiences of health and wellbeing then plan and create a short film that shares the benefits of time in nature.

Adopt a Habitat Tree
– Years 3 & 4

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. 

Growing Grit
– Years 3 to 6

Students will explore the benefits of time in nature by going on a nature walk, then drawing a picture of a time when they were in nature.

Enhancing Biodiversity through Schools Tree Day
– Years 5 & 6

Students design and implement a variety of projects around the school that will enhance the biodiversity of their school and the local area.

Biodiversity Challenge
– Years 7 & 8

Students design their own investigation to record biodiversity in their school grounds. They will decide on strategies to investigate species diversity and ecosystem diversity. 

Schoolyard Food Webs
– Years 7 & 8

Students explore the idea of food webs by undertaking a nature survey and identifying the role each organism plays in their schoolyard food web. 

Growing Grit
– Years 7 to 10

Students will explore the character strength of grit and link time outdoors and in nature as a strategy for coping with setbacks and persevering to achieve their goals in a gritty way.

What makes us click isn’t a device – Years 7 to 10

Students will watch a short video to find out what some of the benefits are and analyse how the message of the video is conveyed. Students critically assess their own activities on an average day and consider ways that they could spend more time in nature.

Research the Benefits of Nature – Years 9 & 10

Students will undertake a scientific inquiry to examine the impacts of spending time in nature. They will design, test and conduct an experiment to examine whether nature time affects mental, physical and emotional well-being. 

Investigate a Local Issue – Years 9 & 10

Students investigate a local biodiversity issue within their community. They use a range of local sources to find out what their community is most passionate about. 

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Nature of Mindfulness – Activities for Well-being

Students will develop body awareness through a variety of mindful practices, including crouching, standing, shape-making, breathing and balancing. Through these practices, students will develop their natural awareness, improve their concentration and become more mindful in their daily lives.

[email protected] – Schools Tree Day – Mindfulness
– Ages 8 to 10

In this activity, you will go on a silent walk through nature, using your senses to notice new growth and life. This is a good activity for kids to complete independently or with others.

Nature of Mindfulness
– Early Learning

This suite of lessons allows you to explore mindfulness using nature as a stimulus. They are designed to help children to tune into each of their senses, their environment and their inner thoughts and feelings. 

Nature of Mindfulness
– Primary

These primary lessons were developed by renowned educator and designer of schools mindfulness programs, Janet Etty-Leal. She brings a world of practical experience to the lessons, which contain step-by-step instructions and scripts.

Nature of Mindfulness
– Secondary

These secondary lessons were developed by renowned educator and designer of schools mindfulness programs, Janet Etty-Leal. She brings a world of practical experience to the lessons, which contain step-by-step instructions and scripts.

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With Thanks to our Partners

The lessons have been developed in partnership with Planet Ark’s Schools Tree Day – the largest nature-care event in Australian schools. You and your children will join thousands of amazing educators and 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.

 

 

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