Math & Science

TREES: Inside and Out

Course No. SC406Z, SC506Z

Trees are all around us. We enjoy the shade they provide on hot summer days, the shelter they give us when the rains come, and we benefit from all that they produce: oxygen, lumber, paper, fruit, and nuts. But how much do our students really know about trees? This course provides ideas to energize teachers and motivate students. You will focus on tree identification, uses of trees, and dozens of lesson ideas that can be adapted for teachers of grades K-12 to integrate with writing, literature, math, science, art, and social studies curriculum to provide real-life learning experiences for students.

You will begin by learning fun and effective ways to identify the trees around your school and in the neighborhood surrounding your school. You will also learn more about native Northwest trees and their uses. Then, you’ll be presented with lesson ideas that can take place inside the classroom or outside, and you may include visits from guest speakers, or field trips to local parks, forests, or natural areas.

This class is applicable to teachers of students in grades K-12, and the strategies and lesson ideas included can be implemented in any community.

The Co-Instructor for this course is Jake Gordon, M.S. Ed.

We advise you to review and download the course syllabus before registering. Syllabus

1. How to identify dozens of tree species. Handouts and recommended tree identification texts will serve as resources for identifying both native and introduced trees by recognizing leaves, flowers, fruit, nuts, bark, tree color and shape. The instructor will also answer questions and to aid in tree identification.

2. How to make tree study come alive for students in K-12 grades. Focus on writing, math, science, art and social studies ideas applicable to work on state benchmarks and district academic goals.

3. How to use local organizations and members of the community as resources in teaching about trees. A resource section will be provided in the handout material.

4.  Effective methods of involving students in community service projects. This section focuses on adopting trees and parks, planting trees, maintaining trails and green spaces, and education outreach programs.

5. Ideas for field trips to visit trees in a variety of habitats and to study the inter-relationship of trees with local plant, animal and human populations.

6. How to identify books of tree study information for developing activities for students. 

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