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Volume 6, Issue 14
September 15, 2008
Theme: Trees


You might introduce your study of trees with this little action poem.

Wonderful Trees

Wonderful trees
With leaves of green, (students spread arms over heads and down)
Put on a magic show
Every year it seems.

When fall comes 'round
Leaves take a bow. (students bow)
And then secretly change
Although we don't know how.

Some change to red,
Some turn yel-low.
Then they magically
Fly to the ground below. (flutter fingers and move hands down to floor)

After sharing our poem with children, you might read aloud Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro.

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter



Take a walk outdoors with your students. Choose a tree for the class to adopt. During the year, try various activities with "your tree."
--- Find out how many children (holding hands) it takes to encircle the tree.
--- Take a picture of your tree in each season. Hang the pictures in your classroom so children can view the changes.
--- Discuss with children what animals might live in the tree.
--- Talk about what products come from trees.

Talk about some of the foods that grow on trees. Point out that many of the fruits we eat grow on trees. Then try any of these "tree-licious" snacks with your children:
Banana Push-ups
Cut up two large bananas. Place banana pieces in a blender with ½ cup of instant non-fat dry milk, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate, and 1 cup of water. Blend ingredients well and pour into paper cups. Freeze thoroughly and serve. Children can push up frozen mixture from the bottom of the cup to enjoy.
Funny Bunnies
Give each child a lettuce leaf and a canned pear half. Place the flat side of the pear onto lettuce. Help children place 2 orange slices for "bunny ears," then use cherries and raisins to create eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Enjoy.
Fruit Kabobs
Cut up pieces of apple and banana and place on flat plates. Drain chunks of canned pineapple and put them a flat plate. Next, fill a plate with shredded coconut and another plate with fruit-flavored yogurt. Give each child a wooden skewer stick. (Be sure to monitor children with sticks.) Invite children to slide chunks of fruit onto their sticks. Then have them hold both ends of their sticks and roll their fruit kabobs, first into the yogurt and next into the coconut. Yum!

Let children gather bags of fall leaves. In the classroom provide paint brushes, tempera paint, and construction paper. Children can paint the backs of leaves and press them carefully onto the paper. When the prints are dry, let children examine the leaf veins as you talk about their purpose.

Create a sensory box. Place in a box various parts of a tree: leaves, bark, seeds, a branch, a flower, a pod, and so on. Cover each child's eyes as he/she reaches in to feel and identify each part. Let each child place the part on a table and match a name card to it (bark, branch, leaf).

--- Gather a variety of leaves of different shapes. Trace each leaf onto construction paper. Cut out two of each leaf shape. Paste one of each pair of leaves to a piece of cardboard. Mix up the other set of leaf shapes. Let children match the leaf shapes.
--- Cut pairs of leaf shapes from various colors of construction paper. Give each child a leaf shape. Ask children to find the person with his/her matching leaf (color and shape).



Check out the following Web sites for additional background and activities.

Finger-Tip Tree
Print out this tree template. Let children color the tree, then dip their fingertips into various colors of tempera paint to make "leaves" for their trees.

Got acorns? You'll find plenty to do with them here! Lots of learning!

Tree Activities
Get cool information and activities -- all about trees.

Trees Are Terrific--Travels With Pierre
Let children listen to Pierre (the acorn) tell all about trees. You may want to spread the story over several days.

All About Trees
Start out with Fun Forest Facts, then go to Wood You Believe. You'll get some cool facts to share with your class.