ARBOR DAY - Become friends with a TREE!

Lesson Overview

Arbor Day is a celebration of all the gifts that trees provide to humans and ALL CREATURES on the "non-water" regions of the earth. Learn the history of this holiday as it has been celebrated for many decades in the U.S., and also grab this opportunity  to look closer at trees, their leaves/ leaf formations, needles, berries, flowers, fruit, and cones!
There is NO BETTER TIME to instill a sense of environmental "conscience" than at an early age...all children, all humans need fresh air, the calming influence of the swaying leaves, checking out the sky & clouds, and enjoying all of Mother Nature's critters. 
If planting a tree is on your agenda for this year - CONGRATULATIONS!  Many schools participate with a planting ceremony, including music, poetry,dance, or artwork. But, on the years that we AREN'T  able to plant a tree for Arbor Day , it's still a great time to appreciate nature, and learn about quietly heroic Americans who have protected  communities by planting and taking care of trees!

Multiple days
Lesson Type
Project Based Lesson

Essential Question

What is so important about TREES that we should have a special holiday to learn about them,  and also plant, care for, and protect them?   This information is important to every citizen who wants to live in a healthy and verdant environment, complete with shade, stable soil, habitats for animals, and  lots of essential oxygen. From the magesty of the gigantic sequoias to the entracing sway of weeping willows, our landscapes would be bleak without the beauty and healthful gifts of trees.   



Other Instructional Materials or Notes:


* crayons, for leaf and bark "rubbings" [ will need to remove papers from crayons so they can be used 'SIDEWAYS"]
* used brown paper grocery bags[cut down the side,also cut out bottom of bag
* glue stick or bottle glue
* white construction paper, 8x11 [works better for rubbings than printer paper]
* various shaped tree leaves, gently removed WITH STEM during an Arbor Day tree walk on school grounds.  Do not take multiple leaves/per tree/per student... trees can spare some leaves, but don't take too many.


* paint-stirring sticks donated from a paint store, or "hobby sticks" [look like a Dr's. 'tongue depressors' ]
* a roll of blue "multi-purpose" painter's tape
* sharpies - different colors

 3. TREE "PORTRAITS"  [View 1:1 sites OR class can walk school grounds ...both would be WONDERFUL!...either with pastel drawing chalk  [if you can't get pastel drawing chalks, sketch outside with crayons, or sketch with pencil and bring in to finish with tempera paint or water colors...however, BEING OUTSIDE for a lot of the experience is part of the "gift" of the fresh air and sky.]
* BLACK construction paper, the bigger the better
* pencil  
* small boxes of pastels, chalks,  or pastel pencils
* several Q-tips per student for smudging chalks
* 1 can of hair spray [ to spray over finished picture , 8" away above drawing, to keep pastels unsmudged]
* Black poster board could be used, along with tempera paints, following same basic project instructions. Cut the poster boards into 1/2 or 1/4 pieces, let students sketch outside, and come back inside to paint.  [Remember, if choosing tempera paints , remember brushes,containers of water to clear brushes between colors, and paper towels.]


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Lesson Created By: katherine bradley