You are here


Biggest Trees in the United States

Trees Sprout Classroom Lessons Throughout the Year

Return to Trees Sprout Classroom Lessons Throughout the Year

Share

Subjects

  • Educational Technology
  • Mathematics: Applied Math
  • Mathematics: Arithmetic
  • Mathematics: Measurement
  • Mathematics: Statistics
  • Science: Agriculture
  • Science: Life Sciences: Botany
  • Science: Physical Science: Earth Science
  • Science: Physical Science: Environmental
  • Social Studies: Geography

Grades

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Complete the chart to show the locations and sizes of some of the biggest trees in the United States.

Objectives

Students will

  • use the Internet (or printed sources) to locate information.
  • fill in missing information on a graphic organizer (chart).
  • use chart data to answer questions.

Keywords

Trees, biggest, size, chart, graphic organizer, circumferences, height, measurement, Arbor Day, spring

Materials Needed

  • computer with Internet access (or a printed copy of the appropriate online resource)
  • a copy of the Big Trees work sheet

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students use The National Register of Big Trees to identify some of the largest trees of different species in the United States. They then complete a chart by filling in the blanks, and answer questions about the completed chart.

For more than 50 years, the organization American Forests has documented the largest know specimens of U.S. trees. The result is The National Register of Big Trees. You can find the complete register online; see the Register.

Provide each student with a copy of the Big Trees work sheet and have them use the Register of Big Trees to fill in missing information.

This activity can be completed in the computer lab or in your classroom's computer center. If computer access is a problem, you might create a booklet of pages for each tree listed on the work sheet. Or: you might contact American Forests and ask if they would provide a set for classroom use.

After students have filled in missing information on the chart, they should be able to answer the questions at the bottom of the page. You can find an Answer Key for the student work sheet in the Assessment section below.

Extension Activities

  • Use the National Register of Big Trees to determine which species produces the tallest tree in the United States; which has the largest circumference; and which has the widest spread?
  • Use the chart on the student work sheet to make up additional questions that involve students in solving word problems and using math skills. For example, questions might include:
    -- How much taller is the tallest Douglas Fir than the Giant Sequoia? (20 feet taller)
    -- What is the difference between the circumference of the largest apple tree and the circumference of the largest orange tree? (122 inches)
    -- Which big tree is taller -- the Sugar Maple or the American Mountain-ash? (Sugar Maple) How much taller is it? (3 inches)

Assessment

ANSWER KEY:
Apple (Common) -- 40 feet
Douglas Fir (Coast) -- 512 inches
Magnolia (Southern) -- 92 feet
Maple (Red) -- 276 inches
Mountain-ash (American) -- Virginia (VA)
Oak (White) -- 312 inches, 116 feet
Orange (Orange) -- California (CA), 34 feet
Sequoia (Giant) -- 1020 inches, 274 feet
Sweetleaf -- 43 inches, 32 feet
Walnut (Black) -- Oregon (OR), 438 inches
QUESTIONS:
1. Douglas Fir; 2. Giant Sequoia; 3. Black Walnut

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

MATHEMATICS: Measurement
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-MEA.3-5.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-MEA.6-8.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-MEA.9-12.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement

MATHEMATICS: Problem Solving
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-PROB.PK-12.1 Build New Mathematical Knowledge Through Problem Solving
NM-PROB.PK-12.2 Solve Problems That Arise in Mathematics and in Other Contexts
NM-PROB.PK-12.3 Apply and Adapt a Variety of Appropriate Strategies to Solve Problems

MATHEMATICS: Connections
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-CONN.PK-12.3 Recognize and Apply Mathematics in Contexts Outside of Mathematics

SCIENCE
GRADES K - 4
NS.K-4.3 Life Science
NS.K-4.4 Earth and Space Science
GRADES 5 - 8
NS.5-8.3 Life Science
NS.5-8.4 Earth and Space Science
GRADES 9 - 12
NS.9-12.3 Life Science
NS.9-12.4 Earth and Space Science

SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
GRADES K - 12
NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms

TECHNOLOGY
GRADES K - 12
NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
NT.K-12.5 Technology Research Tools

Find more great springtime lessons on Education World's Spring Lesson Plans page.
Click to return to this week's Lesson Planning article, Trees Sprout Classroom Lessons Throughout the Year.

Originally published 04/18/2003
Last updated 03/20/2009

Comments