Sensational Trees

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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 Sensational Trees features content from Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide. This new PLT activity guide will be published in Spring 2021. Get a jump start with your students and download a themed collection of activities today! Our advanced-release content is organized around a particular grade and topic.

 

Sensational Trees: Grades K-2 Activities

Sensational Trees is a downloadable, password-protected PDF for educators of students in grades K-2 that invites young learners to investigate trees using their senses. 

 

Using their five senses, young learners can investigate trees – and learn about nature – through:

  • Touching bark, seeds, and other natural objects
  • Seeing shapes and colors
  • Hearing birdcalls and nature sounds
  • Smelling flowers and leaves
  • Tasting tree food products such as fruits and nuts

 

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

Activities

1. The Closer You Look

Even though students may be very familiar with trees, they may not have thought much about the actual structure of a tree. In this activity, students go outdoors or view pictures to take a closer look at trees and their parts.

 

2. Peppermint Beetle

Students explore their sense of smell and discover why smell is important to animals, including beetles and humans.

 

3. Adopt a Tree

Students select individual trees to observe over time, deepening their awareness of tree changes and developing a greater appreciation for their local environment.

Features

  • 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 “Adopt a Tree.” Detailed standards correlations are available at www.plt.org/alignment-to-standards.

 

 

 

About PLT’s Activity Collections

Sensational Trees is one of three  PLT activity collections. Other titles in this themed series for educators are Biodiversity Blitz for grades 3-5 and Discover Your Urban Forest for grades 6-8.

 

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 www.plt.org/trainings/attend-a-training.