Wednesday, April 3, 2013

trees, trees, trees.

I am so excited for my next unit at school--trees!  This week, we are starting this unit by creating a "What We Know About Trees" anchor chart, watching the "The Tree Doctor" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! and starting our tree observation journals.  My first graders are so excited about keeping their tree journals.

One of my essential questions for this unit is "How does the change of seasons effect trees?" and this time of year is perfect to actually observe that in nature.  In our class, we already discussed when the leaves changed in the fall, so we will review that again and really focus on the green leaves coming back in the spring.  We are using our tree journals to record the changes we observe.

My first grade tree observers
We will be observing one of the only trees on our school grounds a couple times a week all month.  Today, my kiddos recorded some basic information about the tree--where it is located, whether it is deciduous or coniferous, about how big they estimate it to be, and how they think it will change.  They also illustrated a picture of what they observed and wrote down their observations. 

This is our tree--pretty gloomy right now.
While I am guiding discussions to point out specific things about our tree, I'm trying to stay out of their actual writings as best as I can.  This is, of course, resulting in some incredible, classic first grade observations.  A few of  my dear little friends wrote that the tree was "naked" (or "nekid") because it didn't have leaves, while some other friends wrote that the tree was "taller than me," "9 feet tall" and "100 million feet tall."  Good thing later this month we will be taking a ruler out with us to get a better idea of how tall it is!

You can download your own tree journals here in my TPT shop. 

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