Branching Out: Learn All About Trees!
As we wrap up the school year, the amazing team at our Pennsylvania cyber school Commonwealth Connections Academy has planned another fantastic field trip—and it’s open to the public! The school’s Mobile Classroom will be planted at the Galeton Public Library on Saturday, May 26, from noon to 2:00 p.m. for “TREES, TREES, TREES!” an exciting science and environmental program for kids.
Rangers from the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be teaching us about the life cycle of trees, and the important role trees play in ecology and economy. Students will also receive a free sapling to plant at home! Families in Pennsylvania that wish to attend can register for the event online or check the cyber school’s Mobile Classroom schedule for upcoming events across the state of Pennsylvania.
If you live in another area of the country, why not host your own special tree party? Select a well-wooded area, maybe a state park, and invite a few other families to join you. (Be sure to pack bug spray and plenty of bottled water!) Plan a hike that’s not too difficult for the youngest members of your group, and equip kids with bags for collecting various types of leaves along the way. To avoid poison ivy, parents may want to supervise closely.
After your hike, head home for a picnic lunch, then use the leaves (and websites or library books) to help kids identify what kind of trees grow in your area. To make a souvenir of your tree party, show kids how to make rubbings from the leaves they gathered, or pick another tree-related craft.
There’s so much children can learn about trees, from cells and photosynthesis to paper manufacturing and erosion control! For more great learning ideas, visit the U.S. Forest Service website, or follow the suggested links below for more fun and educational activities:
- Trees and forest habitat activities for K–3
- Trees Are Terrific lesson plans for K–2, 3–5, and 6–8
- Middle school lessons: how humans changed our landscape
- Climate change and tree planting activities, all ages
- Downloadable PDF tree-planting activity book, all ages
What’s a creative and fun summer learning activity your family has done? Please share your enjoyable ideas with our online community by leaving a comment!