Trees Are Terrific...Travels with Pierre, is designed
to help young children (58 years of age) gain an appreciation
of trees, observe trees in their every day lives and develop
an interest in learning more about trees. It is intended
for adults to work with children to explore the wonders
Statewide Learning Goals for Second Grade
Biological and Physical Sciences
- Distinguish plants from one another.
- Classify familiar organisms.
- Demonstrate an awareness of conservation and protection
of renewable and non-renewable resources.
- Read, write and listen for a variety of purposes.
- Use technology to communicate.
- Collect, organize, describe and display data.
- Recognize geometric shapes.
- Apply estimation and measurement.
Preparing young children to learn through a website might
not be as difficult as it seems. Travels with Pierre will lead you through the basic knowledge of trees and how
important they are to us.
Talk about trees with your child or children before you
even begin to use the website. Find out how much is known,
and ask the following questions:
- What is a tree? Is it a plant? Is it an animal? Is it
- Do we need trees? Why?
- What good are trees to us?
- How are trees different?
- What do trees need to live?
- What do trees eat?
- What would our world look like without trees?
Using a Website with Young Children
Young children should not be forced to sit in front of
a computer, any more than they should be forced to sit and
watch television or play a videogame. It should be a time
for fun, exploration and individual curiosity. Trees
Are Terrific...Travels with Pierre, is written to take
children through a journey. There are words on each slide
of the website, and children are able to move through the
site at their own pace. They can click on next or back to either move forward or back through the site.
Allow children to freely explore the website as they are
able, and support their reading and comprehension skills
by reading and wondering with them. Young children might
need adults to read the text to them, as they read along.
This helps to reinforce their learning, and gain confidence
in their own reading abilities.
If you have the ability to use sound, allow children to
listen to the website, as you listen with them. There are
many sections that give you a chance to ask questions and
allow for conversation and sharing ideas.
Guiding the Learning: Watch, Look and Wonder
- Allow young children to navigate the site and watch
what they do.
- Allow them to ask questions, talk and explore what the
site is all about.
- Print out sheets that are most interesting for them
to review. You might even print out copies for discussion
and review to read out loud.
Activities are included for children to explore the parts
of a tree. Try these activities with individual children
or in a group.
Make Trees Are Terrific a part of your everyday
world. Include it in discussions, and print out a copy to
use in discussions about what trees do for us (provide air
and beauty), and how we take care of trees and what products
trees give us (food, paper and homes for animals).
Go to Pierre's Fun Place
Have children think up fun tree jokes, and share them with
us. We welcome your comments and look forward to your "tree-mendous"
More Ideas to Use
Build a Tree Out of Paper
Tape wrapping paper rolls together to make the trunk of
the tree and use yarn or paper towel tubes for branches
. Have children collect leaves (or make them from construction
paper). Put the tree on a wall, and add to it. Have children
think of creative ways to add to your own personal tree.
Write a description of the tree, and what the tree needs.
Be creative and fun with your tree. Make up a name for it,
and imagine what it could produce.
Make a Bulletin Board with "Tree Ideas"
Have children create their own trees out of materials of
their choice: cardboard, paper, and other materials. Have
items and classify about what comes from trees. Put a variety
of items on a table. Make signs and have children sort them
by "made from trees" and "not made from trees."
Arbor Day Activities
Check out the website at http://www.arborday.org to get great ideas about celebrating Arbor Day that would
be right for your children.
Create your own "growing rings." While this is
typically an activity for older children, helping children
understand that trees have an "age" just like
they do makes trees even more "alive" for them.
If you cut a tree in half across the trunk, you can tell
how old a tree is by counting the rings. The kind of weather
conditions is also indicative of how much a tree grows each
Have your children make their own "ring of life"
by putting photos of them in rings by their ages. You can
put the photos on the sides of the page, and then draw lines
from the middle (age 1 year) to the age of the child.
An audio-enhanced version of Trees Are Terrific is available
by clicking on the "Audio-enhanced version" link
at the bottom of any page. The audio-enhanced version requires
the Macromedia Flash Player. Click
here to download.
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