Discover Your Urban Forest

Discover Your Urban Forest

Discover Your Urban Forest (Activities)   $5.99 Add to cart

Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. 

PLT’s Discover Your Urban Forest features three activities from PLT’s new Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide.

Discover Your Urban Forest: Grades 6-8 Activities

Discover Your Urban Forest is a downloadable, password-protected PDF for educators of students in grades 6-8 that invites learners to explore their urban environment and investigate environmental issues that affect their urban community.

Three hands-on activities, with an emphasis on science and social studies, engage students in learning about the place they live and how we depend on natural systems to sustain us. Students learn to value diverse perspectives about different landscapes whether it is a city sidewalk, an urban forest, or a community park.

Designed to be flexible, Discover Your Urban Forest activities can be used as individual, stand-alone lessons, or all together as a cohesive unit of instruction using a storyline technique.


1. Decisions, Decisions

Decisions about community land use are complex and often involve many people in many ways.

Students use trees as a backdrop to develop a land-use plan.

2. Environmental Justice for All

Everyone has an equal right to a healthy environment—but does everyone have a healthy environment?

Students propose actions to resolve various scenarios and then research issues related to environmental justice in their own state.

3. Forest in the City

The trees in our communities provide many benefits: they improve air quality, store carbon, and conserve energy. Trees also enhance human health by reducing blood pressure, decreasing stress, and elevating attentiveness.

Students conduct a survey to investigate the social and psychological effects of the urban forest.


  • Multidisciplinary activities integrate core discipline areas, including STEM subjects, reading, writing, and social studies.
  • Hands-on activities connect children to nature in the city and the outdoors.
  • How to think, not what to think. Activities are designed to develop students’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Background information, suggestions for enrichment, and student assessment tools for teachers.
  • Copyright-free Student Pages, or worksheets, can be easily loaded to Google Classroom.
  • Activities are practical, adaptable, and flexible. They are easy to do, require minimal preparation; no special supplies are needed.
  • Explicit connections to academic standards for science, English language arts, and social studies.
  • New supporting features include “Differentiated Instruction” techniques, “Take It Outside!”, “Did You Know?” forest facts, plus a “Career Corner” within each Student Page introduces youth to forest-related careers.

Each PLT activity displays explicit connections to practices and concepts mandated by academic standards. Below is an example from “Forest in the City.” Detailed standards correlations are available at

About PLT’s Activity Collections

Discover Your Urban Forest is one of three PLT activity collections. Other titles in this themed series for educators are Biodiversity Blitz for grades 3-5 and Sensational Trees for grades K-2.

PLT’s practical, hands-on activities for teachers and nonformal educators, youth group leaders and home schoolers connect youth to nature and the outdoors. Each activity includes background information, preparation instructions, material and time requirements, step-by-step instructions, and assessment suggestions.

Our fun and multi-disciplinary activities appeal to a broad range of learners, including students with diverse learning styles and cultural backgrounds. The activities incorporate STEM, reading, writing, and social studies, and teach students how to think, not what to think about environmental issues for developing students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

PLT Professional Development

Did you know? PLT also offers online, blended, and in-person professional development tailored for specific grade levels, academic standards, environmental topics, and formal and nonformal teaching situations. Consistently rated as one of the best professional development events they have ever experienced, most educators attend a PLT training because they were recommended to it by a colleague. Learn more at

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