This resource is a lesson on trees with extensive support information for the teacher. The activities of the lesson engage children and get them interested in one of the earth's most important resources, trees. It lends itself nicely to rich projects and a variety of topics associated with trees (paper, animals, forestry, seasons, etc.).
It is sometimes difficult to find appropriate early childhood outdoor spaces, but if it is possible, this activity builds relationships to our environment from the aspects of career, food sources, etc. and shows children what impact they can have on the world around them.
The authors listed "perennial" as a vocabulary word to introduce before the lesson, but for young children there would be many more. (author/nmb)
Life Science for Early Childhood
Characteristics and Structure of Life
Identify common needs (e.g., food, air, water) of familiar living things.
Diversity and Interdependence of Life
Observe and begin to recognize the ways that environments support life by meeting the unique needs of each organism (e.g., plant/soil, birds/air, fish/water).
Match familiar adult family members, plants and animals with their young (e.g., horse/colt, cow/calf).
Recognize physical differences among the same class of people, plants or animals (e.g., dogs come in many sizes and colors).
Acquisition of Vocabulary for Early Childhood
Understand the meaning of new words from context of conversations, the use of pictures that accompany text or the use of concrete objects.
Name items in common categories (e.g., animals, food, clothing, transportation, etc.).
Tools and Resources
Determine the meaning of unknown words with assistance or cues from an adult (e.g., providing a frame of reference, context or comparison).
Scientific Inquiry for Early Childhood
Doing Scientific Inquiry
Ask questions about objects, organisms and events in their environment during shared stories, conversations and play (e.g., ask about how worms eat).
Predict what will happen next based on previous experiences (e.g., when a glass falls off the table and hits the tile floor, it most likely will break).
Use one or more of the senses to observe and learn about objects, organisms and phenomena for a purpose (e.g., to record, classify, compare, talk about).
Explore objects, organisms and events using simple equipment (e.g., magnets and magnifiers, standard and non-standard measuring tools).
Begin to make comparisons between objects or organisms based on their characteristics (e.g., animals with four legs, smooth and rough rocks).
Record or represent and communicate observations and findings through a variety of methods (e.g., pictures, words, graphs, dramatizations) with assistance.
Scientific Ways of Knowing for Early Childhood
Nature of Science
Offer ideas and explanations (through drawings, emergent writing, conversation, movement) of objects, organisms and phenomena, which may be correct or incorrect.
Research for Early Childhood
Ask questions about experiences, areas of interest, pictures, letters, words, logos or icons (e.g., EXIT on a sign in the grocery store).
Recall information about a topic dictated or constructed by child.
Share findings of information through retelling, media and play (e.g., draw a picture of the desert).
Communication: Oral and Visual Early Childhood
Listening and Viewing
Attend to speakers, stories, poems and songs.
Connect information and events to personal experiences by sharing or commenting.
Follow simple oral directions.