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Photo by Nerea Marti Sesarino via Unsplash

Author

UN FAO

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Biology, English Language Arts, Health

Regional Focus

Global

Format

YouTube Video

Benefits of Urban Trees

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  • This brief animated video presents the various benefits of planting trees in urban environments. 
  • It shows that trees can reduce air temperature, filter out air pollutants, increase habitat for wildlife, remove carbon dioxide, reduce energy costs to heat and cool buildings, provide food and resources to people, increase property values, and increase physical and mental health.

Positives

  • This video is very succinct and provides a quick resource to break up a lecture or introduce an activity. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • The sound on the video can be muted, if desired, and you may want to periodically pause the video to ensure students have completed reading all the text.
  • This video from the UN FAO is not narrated but includes animated images and text with background music.

Differentiation

  • This video could be a hook for lessons about nature, green spaces, trees, the health benefits of trees and nature, or pollution. 
  • Younger students will likely need to have you read the text to them or pause the video to allow them time to read each section.
  • Social studies classes could use this video for lessons about the importance of urban trees for mental health, respiratory health, reducing heat-related illnesses, and general enjoyment.
  • As an extension, have students read this article, play this game, use this interactive map, or watch this video to learn more about trees and how they benefit us and the planet.
The resource explores the benefits of tree planting in urban areas, urban population will increase exponentially by 2050, hence the need to plant more trees in urban areas to sequester carbon, filter air pollution, noise and reduce urban heat island effect. However, in the resource, FAO, reports 150kg of CO2 is sequestered by a tree per year. Please note that, the amount of CO2 being sequestered depends on the tree architecture, structure, leaf arrangements and other components of the tree. The resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • MS-LS1-6 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 3: Developing Claims and Using Evidence
      • D3.3.6-8 Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
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