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New York Botanical Garden


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th



Resource Types

  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

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



Into the Woods: Nature Hunt Activity Sheet

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  • In this outdoor activity, students will explore a local forest, observe the plants and animals within this forest, and compare different types of foliage in the area.
  • Students will draw plants and animals they observe, craft a list of organisms in this forest, and compare the physical features of two forest leaves.
Teaching Tips


  • This activity gives students a chance to show off their creativity.
  • The Words in the Woods activity reinforces the English alphabet for students.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should monitor students during this activity to make sure they're staying focused.
  • Since this is an outdoor activity, teachers should keep an eye on daily weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
  • Students should know the different types of local trees and how to identify them.


  • Teachers can fill in more letters on Activity Sheet #2 to shorten the activity.
  • Teachers can review the questions in Activity Sheet #3 with students to ensure comprehension.
  • Science classes can discuss the biological interactions that happen in a forest ecosystem. 
  • This activity can support a lesson on the life cycle of trees.
  • Teachers can extend the activity into language arts by sharing a story set in the forest or having students write forest-inspired poetry. 
Scientist Notes
This resource provides teachers with three activity sheets for an outdoor activity (although this could be an imagination activity indoors) with students. The worksheets cover critical thinking skills, letter object matching, and compare and contrast.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
      • 1-LS3-1 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
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