Go on a “Favorite Tree Hunt” around your schoolyard or at a nearby park. Visit several trees, pointing out the bark types, leaves, seeds, and shapes. Let each child pick a “favorite tree”. Invite the children to share about their favorite tree and why they chose that particular tree.
Take pictures of the children and their favorite trees. Make a bark rubbing of the tree. Let the kids collect a leaf, seed, or twig from their tree.
Create a class Our Favorite Trees scrapbook showcasing the kids’ collections they gathered from their trees and the bark rubbings. Encourage each child to draw a picture of their favorite tree and tell why their tree is special.
Visit the “favorite trees” often, including in different seasons so the kids can see the differences.
Visit the Project Learning Tree website for a printable card you can share with parents to extend learning at home with family and friends.
Pound leaf pictures
Materials: hard wood surface; hammer with flat head; paper towels; paper or fabric (muslin) for printing; variety of leaves
Gently hammering a leaf releases its chlorophyll and makes a print of the leaf on cloth or paper. Layer, in this order, a thick small board, a paper towel, the fabric or paper on which you want to print, a leaf, and another paper towel. Begin by pounding lightly to release the color without bursting the plant cells to pieces. Lift up a corner and peak at the impression. Continue hammering if necessary. Display the pictures on a bulletin board and out of direct sunlight.
Brenner, B. 1998. The Tremendous Tree Book. Boyds Mills Press.
Florian, D. 2002. Summersaults. Greenwillow Books.
Green, M.L. 2008. Underneath by Favorite Tree. PublishAmerica.
Iverson, D. 1999. My Favorite Tree: Terrific Trees of North America. Dawn Publications.
Jones, A. 2008. The Wish Trees. AuthorHouse.
Locker, T. 1995. Sky Tree: Seeing Science through Art. HarperCollins.
Romanova, N. 1992. Once There Was a Tree. Penguin Group (USA)
Ryder, J. 1991. Hello, Tree! Lodestar Books.
Sanders, S. 1997. Meeting Trees. National Geographic Society.