My daughter’s 2 favorite quotes from the Lorax are:
This post is dedicated to all of our wonderfully green trees, the lungs of the Earth, the shelter to millions of creatures, and therefore what is keeping us and all living things alive…. Here are resources to learn about TREES:
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Discover your National and State Trees
Check this list of national trees around the world to find your National Tree.
If you are in the United States, see this list to find your state tree. Learn to identify your national and state trees!
Activities about Trees for Kids
Make a neighborhood tree guide.
Visit your local arboretum.
Collect seed pods (and acorns, pinecones, etc) and make a sensory table.
Tie a ribbon on a tree bud, and observe it over the course of several days/weeks. Record your observations.
Plant a tree for Arbor Day! Arbor Day was first celebrated in Nebraska in 1872, founded by J. Sterling Morton. He wanted the state to set aside a day for his fellow citizens and school children to plant trees. Trees were needed as building materials, fuel, and windbreaks for the farms. Also for shade and beauty. Over one million trees were planted on that first arbor day. In 1885 if was made an official holiday in NE. Now it’s celebrated in all 50 states, plus countries around the world such as NZ, Australia, Canada, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico, and England. Check www.arborday.org to learn more. Find out when Arbor Day is celebrated in your country and around the world.
Books about Trees for Kids
I’ve chosen our favorite books about trees for kids, and provided an affiliate amazon link for your convenience (listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name):
Someday a Tree by Eve Bunting is based on a touching true story of a tree that is beloved by a family. One day some poison is spilled near the tree, and the tree slowly begins to die. Despite the family’s and neighbors efforts to save the tree, the leaves turn brown and the trees dies. The inspiring ending teaches children to have hope, and that even little kids can make a positive difference in the world.
Arbor Day Square by Kathryn Galbraith. In this simple story, a small, new town on the prairie misses trees from back home in the east. The families work together to raise money, and bring trees to plant in their town. The settlers put down roots as the trees grow and provide shade for their town square. In the final pictures, mature trees shade a modern town. There is an interesting author’s note in the back of the book that discusses the first Arbor Day, when over 1 million trees were planted in a single day!
Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids
by Gail Gibbons. In true form, the amazing non-fiction children’s author Gail Gibbons again delivers an incredibly informative science book for kids. In “Tell Me, Trees,” kids learn about the parts of a tree and their functions, the growth of trees, different types of trees, photosynthesis, and how trees are useful to people, animals, and the environment.
The Big Tree, by Bruce Hiscock tells the life story of a sugar maple tree in northern New York State, beginning as a seed during the War for Independence. The book mixes fact and fiction while touching on photosynthesis, counting rings in the stumps to determine the age of trees nearby, the importance of roots and how the system of sap circulates, tapping the trees to make maple syrup, what happens as the buds swell, and turn to flowers and then seeds.
This is the Tree: A Story of the Baobab
by Miriam Moss. The illustrations in this book are phenomenally details, and my kids just poured over them when we were finished reading the story. The baobab tree (also called the “upside-down tree”) has always captured my attention because it is so unusual with its huge trunk used to store water and tiny greenery on top- I learned that they can live to 2000 year old! This book looks at the baobab tree in each season, and the illustrations show the relationship of the animals in the savannah to this important tree.
We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow, is a lyrical, poetic story about people around the world planting trees: from urban Brooklyn and Tokyo, to Kenya’s savannah, to the Mediterranean. The youngest kids will enjoy the simple, repetitive text and colorful illustrations, while discovering the common goal of protecting our environment.
A Log’s Life, by Wendy Pfeffer. First of all, the illustrations by Robin Brickman are incredible: they are made of watercolor paper that has been cut, painted, glued and sculpted to make the leaves, plants, and animals in the book- they look exactly like real leaves!!! We wouldn’t get over the intricate details- amazing. The book itself talks about how different types of animals use the tree in different ways, and at different stages of its life cycle. From the squirrels and birds who make nests in the living trunk, to the log ants and pillbugs that live in the decomposing log. This would be a great book to read when studying food chains; teachers can ask students to sort the living things in the book into consumers, producers, and decomposers. Check out this video someone made of the book.
On-Line Activities about Trees
A talking acorn teaches kids about trees and the benefits we get from trees (University of Illinois-Champaign).
American Forest Foundation has loads of lessons and activities for families and classes to do with children to learn more about trees and forests!