Tree Study Activities with Notebooking Pages
Tree study activities are interesting to do each season of the year. Spring tree study activities will be different and teach our kids different things than a Fall tree study.
In this post we share some activities and notebooking pages to help you plan and enjoy a tree study with your children–any time of the year!
Tree Study Activity Ideas
Below we share some activities for a wide variety of ages. What’s neat about studying trees with your kids is that you can make it a year-long study. Take a tree identification hike each season and journal how several trees look during each season.
There are so many possibilities with this, and your children will uncover and discover more ways to enrich this study. Here are some of our favorite ways to study trees.
Tree Study Activities – Idea 1 – Learn Some Tree Vocabulary
Before going out on a tree identification hike, it’s helpful to learn the parts of a tree and the parts of a leaf.
If you’d like to include vocabulary in your study of trees, there are lots of great vocabulary words you can include! And the best part is that these vocabulary words can make it easier to identify the trees in your area, so they’re useful to your students and you. I think it’s always good to make vocabulary words meaningful and let students know why the particular words they’re studying are important. It makes more sense to them if they can easily understand why they’re learning those specific words. Here are some to consider. But of course you can include whatever tree-related vocabulary words you’d like to study.
- alternate– staggered leaves
- broadleaf– a tree with flat thin leaves that generally shed annually
- compound (leaf)– a leaf with more than one blade, where leaves attach to tree there is a bud
- conifer– a cone-bearing tree
- deciduous– shed leaves annually
- evergreen-trees with needle-like leaves that remain alive through the winter season
- opposite– leaves are directly across from one another
Tree Study Activities – Idea #2 – Use Notebooking Pages
Studying trees any time of year can be fun and interesting, but studying them in the fall can be especially fun because of the leaves’ beautiful colors!
I was inspired to make Tree Notebook Pages to complement my other Nature Notebook Pages. You can use the Tree Notebook Pages I have created in a variety of ways. You may want to use them to go along with a unit study, to go along with a textbook you’re using, or you may want to use them on their own as a short and informal stand-alone unit study. However you choose to use them, I think you and your students will enjoy them and learn a lot!
Tree Study Activities – Ideas #3- Go On a Tree ID Hike
Start by going outside at your own house, a near-by trail, or a local park and identifying the kinds of trees in your area. You can use a guide such as Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification, Revised and Updated, or you can find a guide that is specific to your area of the country.
Here’s a list of things to bring on your tree study nature walk:
- Bring along the notebooking pages referenced here. (You may want to put them in a 3-ring binder.).
- Some blank pages for drawing
- colored pencils/crayons/markers
- bags for any interesting things found on the ground. (Rocks, leaves, small fallen branches, seeds, feathers.) One of our most interesting finds on a nature walk in our backyard was the exoskeleton of a cicada!
- stapler – we often staple leaves right onto our notebooking pages
Tree Study Activities #4- Add Art to Your Tree Study
Art enriches any study, whether it’s a science, history, or geography study. Here are some resources for adding art to your tree study activities:
- Try this Van Gogh’s Tree activity from Only Passionate Curiosity
- Spring Chalk Pastel Video Art Course – You ARE an ARTiST!
- Seasonal Tree Art Course from You ARE an Artist!
Tree Activities Activities – Ideas #5 – Mix in Some Insect and Botany Science
When we go on nature hikes to observe trees, well, we’re going to run into interesting insects and beautiful wildflowers or “weeds.”
Combine your tree study activities with some insect and botany science. Here are a few resources:
- Insect notebooking pages
- Botany notebooking pages
- Learn about dragonflies (We have little ones in our backyard who will perch on a flower or bush and display some very territorial behavior. They sit for hours in one spot!)
- Learn about bees – You’ll most likely see bees during your hike, especially in Summer and possibly early Fall (in the Southern U.S.)
- If your tree study is happening during the Fall, try a leaf chromotography activity.
Learn more about these pages or just click the images.
The Tree Notebook Pages that I created also include several blank pages that can be used with any tree activity. Additionally, there are 10 lined pages in a variety of styles. These extra pages can be used however you’d like! Here are a few suggestions:
- Write a poem.
- Write a short story.
- Look up some “fun facts” about trees and record them.
- Work on descriptive writing by having your student describe in words the way a tree or leaf looks.
- Work on descriptive writing by having your student describe in words the way a tree or leaf feels.
- Be creative! Write a short story from the perspective of a tree. Have your student pretend that he or she is a tree. Ask interview questions and write down the answers. Examples could be:
- Do you like it when squirrels live in your branches?
- How does it feel when there is a storm and you get blown around in the wind?
- How does it feel when your leaves fall off in the winter or when you grow new leaves in the spring?
- Do you like it when it rains? Why or why not?
- Do you like it when cats climb you? Why or why not?
- How does it feel when birds land on your branches? Does it tickle?
- Would you like to become a beautiful piece of furniture one day and get to live inside someone’s house? Or would you rather stay outside rooted in place?
- Would you like to become an instrument like a piano or a guitar so you can make beautiful music?
You can use the Tree Notebook Pages with any age, but they are designed for elementary through middle school. The best thing about them is that they can be used in multiple ways with multiple children over the years. So they are are a small investment that will reap rewards for years to come! There are a total of 43 pages for only $1.99.
Tree Unit Study Resources:
If you’re interested in using additional resources to expand your study of trees, you may want to look at some of the links below. And whatever you choose to study, be sure to have fun being outside and learning with your students!
Elementary Tree Nature Units & Beyond:
This Arbor Day pack from Only Passionate Curiosity has resources in it you can use in April or anytime.
If you’re doing your tree study during the Fall, here’s a Fall leaf nature journal resource from Only Passionate Curiosity.
Handbook of Nature Study Blog Units
Leaf chromatography activity here on Hip Homeschool Moms – try it in Spring or Summer too! Repeat in Fall and compare the results.
Fall Tree Unit Resources and Leaf Unit Study: The Homeschool Scientist
Tree Unit Study: Unlikely Homeschool
Christmas Tree Science: Starts at Eight
Rainforest Unit Study : Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus
Tree Study Preschool & Kindergarten:
Autumn Trees and Leaves: Royal Little Lambs
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree : Serving from Home
Leaf Color Pages : Itsy Bitsy Fun
Thank you so much for putting together these wonderful resources.
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I was just thinking about doing a study of trees with my son! These are great ideas and resources! Thanks for this information, its right on time!