Our class began studying trees this week. We have been observing and comparing trees to learn about what lives in them, what they are made of, and who cares for them. We hope that this study will help children explore and appreciate nature. A we study trees , we will use literacy, math, the arts, and technology to explore the topic in depth. We are learning important social studies and scientific concepts through firsthand investigations.
You may ask yourself why investigate trees? Well, trees fascinate children and spark their curiosity and wonder. Think of your childhood memories that involved trees. Did you ever climb a tree? Did you play hide and seek behind a tree? Did you lie down under a tree and wonder whether it touched the sky? Did you ever try to wrap your arms all the way around a tree? Did you wonder why there are holes in trees and what's inside them? Did you ever imagine what the world would be like without trees?
This study builds upon children's interest in trees to help them explore science and social studies. Rather than emphasise naming different trees, this study focuses on helping children develop and understanding of the characteristics of trees an their role in our natural and man-made worlds.
If you are able to take a "tree walk" with your child, you could collect tree parts to investigate. Take a bag to a tree area and collect things that have fallen, such as leaves, barks, acorns, twigs, flowers, fruit or cones.
Here is a list of tree parts you can find:
- a variety of leaves - small limbs, branches, twigs - food from trees (fruit, nuts) - pinecones - evergreen sprigs or small boughs - Flower clippings - seeds - tree "cookies" (cross sections of trees that show the rings) - bark
You can also help your child explore and appreciate nature by learning about trees. Invite your child to talk about trees. Share stories about your favourite childhood memories involving trees and games you might have played around them. Wonder aloud with your child to encourage his or her thinking about trees. "I wonder why leaves fall from trees." "I wonder what makes some trees grow so big." At home, collect parts of trees, and encourage your child to sort them. Your child might also enjoy making a collage by arranging and gluing tree items on paper.
Thank you for playing an important role in your child's learning.