Lesson: Uses of Trees

Author: Marc Sheehan

Title of Lesson: Trees and their Uses

Time: 25-30 minutes

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Idea Supplied By: Barbara Egan, Mark Twain Elementary (Federal Way, WA)

Materials: The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein), Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast (Jim Pojar), 30 leaves ( 10 Alder, 10 Bigleaf Maple, 10 Vine Maple), crayons, white paper, butcher paper, pen

Objectives: The students will identify 3-4 ways how trees are used. The students will produce 3 leaf rubbings using one color for each leaf.

Introduction: The lesson will open with the reading of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Students will be instructed to note how the tree was used in the story.

Procedure: When the story is finished, the students will be asked how the tree in the story was used. The answers will be recorded on the butcher paper. The students will also be asked to state other ways that trees are used. The answers will also be recorded. Next, the leaves of the Alder, Bigleaf Maple, and Vine Maple will be shown to the students. The uses of each tree will be described, using Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast as the source.

Once the leaves are presented, then the students will be shown how to do leaf rubbings. The leaf will be placed on a flat surface and covered with a piece of white paper. Next, a crayon will be rubbed gently over the paper so that the features of the leaf appear. Pre-made examples of all three leaf rubbings will be presented for the students to look at. The students will then be dismissed to their tables to work on the rubbings. They will be instructed to share the leaves, work as neatly as possible, and use one color for each leaf.

Closure: The leaf rubbings will be collected, stapled together, and sent home with the students.

Assessment: The rubbings will be looked over to see if they were completed neatly and in one color.

Modifications for Special Needs: The coloring should help to develop and maintain fine motor skills. The students could also focus on completing a task with few or no interruptions, maintaining attention, sitting quietly, and working neatly.

Possible Extensions: More leaf rubbings could be made for a leaf book. Students could also make bark rubbings. The list of tree uses could be recorded in student journals. Students could also go on a nature walk to identify various trees on the school grounds.

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