Exploring the Secret Life of Trees is designed to help
3rd 5th grade students gain an appreciation of trees, observe
trees in their everyday lives, and develop an interest in discovering
more about trees. It is intended for adults to work with children
to explore the secret life of trees.
If this website is not the right level for your students, please check out our other websites focused on trees -- Trees Are Terrific (K-2 grades) and Dr. Arbor Talks Trees (6-10 grades).
If you complete our online request form, we will send
you a poster for your classroom featuring 'Exploring the Secret Life of Trees.'
Statewide Learning Goals for Fourth Grade
Students will be able to:
- Have a working knowledge of the principles of scientific research
and their application in simple projects.
- Understand the processes, techniques, methods, equipment,
and available technology of science.
- Understand the sensory, formal, technical and expressive quality
- Make and use measurements.
- Use mathematical skills to estimate, approximate, and predict
outcomes and to judge reasonableness of results.
- Understand environmental health.
- Perform a variety of complex motor activities.
- Apply the skills and knowledge gained in this study to decision-making
in life situations.
- Read, comprehend, interpret, evaluate and use written material.
Biological and Physical Sciences
- Identify the basic parts of a tree and its functions.
- Demonstrate an awareness of conservation and protection of
renewable and non-renewable resources.
- Read and write about trees.
- Have a basic vocabulary of trees and forestry.
- Understand the utilization of trees in everyday life.
- Understand the importance of being a good steward in our environment.
- Collect and organize data to formulate and solve problems
in mathematics through measurement and planning.
- Demonstrate knowledge and skills to create visual works of
art using eye-hand coordination, building and imagination.
Here are additional activity ideas for you to use in your classroom
to help children continue to explore the secret life of trees.
Red Celery Test
Mix red ink with water in a jar or clear glass vase. Stand a
stick of celery in it and watch and see what happens over a 24-48
hour period. The stalk and leaves should turn pink. We can compare
this activity to how water is carried throughout a tree.
You will need a sheet of paper and a big, dark colored crayon.
Lay the paper on top of the bark of a trees trunk and gently
rub all over the paper with the crayon. Try to get rubbings from
different types of trees and compare the results. Students can
keep a notebook of their findings.
Collect leaves from as many different types of trees as you can.
Place the leaves on paper and press them between two heavy books.
You may want to pile additional books on top of each other to
add extra weight.
Collect branches with leaf scars from different trees. Compare
and discuss the differences. Make an exhibit or bulletin board
display of all the different leaf scars the students find.
Parts of the Trunk
To show the parts of the trunk, take different sizes of cans
and paper tubes and color them to reflect the phloem, cambium,
xylem and heartwood. Place the tubes around each other to build
your own tree trunk.
Plant a Tree
Plant a tree to celebrate Arbor Day or to simply celebrate the
importance of trees in our environment and our world.
How Old Are You?
Find a log or a tree that has been cut down at the trunk and
count the rings. Each ring represents one year of life for the
tree. Compare the age of the tree to the students.
How Big Is a Cord of Wood?
Use a tape measure or yardstick and string to outline how much
space in the classroom would be taken up if you were to store
a cord of wood. Students can hold the string from end to end to
demonstrate the length, width, and height of a cord of wood. You
can then call your local home supply store and investigate the
cost of a cord of wood.
What Do I See Thats Been Made from a Tree?
Brainstorm and list everything in the classroom that has been
made from trees. You will be surprised how many things we use
each and every day that come from trees. The students can do the
same activity at home.
Make a wall mural of the four seasons of a tree.
Design a postage stamp to celebrate trees or the seasons. Place
the stamps together on the wall to create a mural or quilt.
Pencil and Paper (Both of which have come from trees!)
- Write a poem or story about trees or the seasons.
- Write about your favorite tree.
- Think about what the world would be like without trees. Write
a story or poem.
- Choose one type of tree and research its origin, description,
where it grows, and how it is used.
Return to the Secret Life of Trees