Grade Levels: K-3

These family and homeschool activities are designed to complement the Trees topic page on BrainPOP Jr.

Take a Neighborhood Tree Walk

Take a walk around your neighborhood. Bring along a camera or phone to take pictures or bring a sketch pad and pencils. Encourage your child to snap pictures or draw trees they see, making sure to note details such as color, leaf shape, and texture of the bark. Gather a leaf from each different tree you encounter. Then use your leaves and notes to go online and research trees. What trees grow near you? Can you figure out when the local trees were planted?

Rings on a Branch

Find a fallen branch in your community. You and your child can look at the branch’s rings and count them. How many rings are there? Tell your child that the number of rings tell you the branch’s age. Then, compare the width of the branch to that of the trunk. How much older is the tree than the branch? Brainstorm with your child on how and why trees sometimes lose their branches, and whether losing a branch is always bad for a tree.

Pine Cones: The Seed Protectors

If you live in an area with coniferous trees, you and your child can gather pine cones and learn how they adapt to the weather! Place your pine cones in a bowl in an outdoor area and observe it over time. You and your child might note that when the weather is dry, the pine cones will open up. When rain is in the forecast, the pine cones will close up. Help your child understand that this helps with seed dispersal: in dry weather, the pine cones open so wind can disperse the seeds. In wet weather they close to keep seeds from becoming waterlogged, which would later prevent dispersal. Brainstorm with your child on why coniferous seeds might need more protection than the seeds on deciduous trees?

Filed as:  K-3, Trees