This lesson centers on the importance of trees through a virtual field trip, supporting activities, games, and reflections that explore how incredibly important trees are to human health, ecosystems, and the climate.
Students will learn some of the many benefits trees provide, how trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, and what they can do to conserve, protect, and restore forests.
There are two extension activities in which students can feel a sense of agency in planting and caring for their own tree.
Students are able to test their knowledge after watching the video with the link to the provided Kahoot game!
The two Vimeo videos do not have closed captioning or subtitles (but they can be downloaded), while all of the included YouTube videos have CC and subtitles (but cannot be downloaded).
The tree identification key link will take you to a page that no longer exists on dec.ny.gov.
Prior to this lesson, it would be beneficial to teach students about greenhouse gases, their impact on the environment, and how they get into the atmosphere.
Students can extend this lesson by doing a study on different types of trees. Students can research how to care for that particular tree, and the unique benefits that type of tree can provide.
Science classes can connect this lesson to units about photosynthesis, the carbon cycle, the water cycle, air pollution, heat and radiation, or ecosystems.
English language arts classes can create persuasive writing to convince others to plant new or protect current trees.
Students can do a project for further research on the movement to plant a billion trees and related movements, creating a brochure with information on the movement.
This lesson can be used to supplement units in science classes on climate change, greenhouse gases, conservation, climate solutions, or habitats. Students can look at the importance of trees in all of these areas.
Students who struggle with auditory processing and/or multilingual students may benefit from slowing the video's playback speed and/or using the closed captioning/subtitles functions on the video.
This lesson plan discusses the importance of trees for our climate, how trees are affected by climate change, and how trees can help mitigate climate change. In the main video for the lesson, students are shown how trees photosynthesize and why they are important in different regions of the world. This lesson plan focuses on caring for trees and respecting their value in our environment. The lesson plan has many resources linked for more information. The information presented is accurate and this resource is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
3-ESS3-1 Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
3-LS4-4 Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Geography
D2.Geo.1.6-8 Construct maps to represent and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
D2.Geo.10.6-8 Analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
D2.Geo.12.6-8 Explain how global changes in population distribution patterns affect changes in land use in particular places.
D2.Geo.1.3-5 Construct maps and other graphic representations of both familiar and unfamiliar places.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.9 Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).