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Roots and Shoots


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th


Social Studies

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Activity - Outdoors

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, New York City



I Dream of Green

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  • This project guide will get students involved in their communities by locating places to plant new trees, advocating for trees in those places, and planting trees. 
  • Students will learn about the importance of green spaces, especially in urban communities, and how activists can change the world around them. 
Teaching Tips


  • This seven-page project guide is ready to use and is an excellent framework for getting students engaged in improving their community. 
  • The stories, graphics, and links add to the richness of the resource and will engage students easily. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • A glossary provides domain-specific vocabulary that will be helpful for students. 
  • This resource is suggested for urban or suburban schools, but rural schools may find it valuable as well.
  • To complete the project, the class will have to reach out to community leaders and local businesses. Teachers should make sure that contact information is available and that students have permission to contact people outside of their school. 


  • Science classes could use this project as a follow-up activity to a lesson or discussion on the importance of green spaces, urban heat islands, and environmental justice. 
  • This activity lends itself best to a whole class project. Larger classes could consider creating groups to tackle each section of the project. 
  • As an extension, have students record their work on this project and turn it into a persuasive piece to convince people to plant more trees in their communities. 
  • Other related resources include this animated video about what would happen if we cut down all the trees in a city, this interactive tool that tracks environmental and demographic indicators, and this interactive map that provides a tree equity score. 
Scientist Notes
The resource is suitable to inspire students to address climate change impacts wreaking havoc in their community. It features good examples to enable them to learn and improve their skills in conservation and climate activism. This is highly recommended for the classroom.
  • 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.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.7.6-8 Apply civic virtues and democratic principles in school and community settings.
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.2.6-8 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
      • D2.Geo.9.6-8 Evaluate the influences of long-term human-induced environmental change on spatial patterns of conflict and cooperation.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.1.6-8 Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
      • D4.7.6-8 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
      • D4.8.9-12 Apply a range of deliberative and democratic strategies and procedures to make decisions and take action in their classrooms, schools, and out-of-school civic contexts.
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