Trees, the climate and us

 

Level :

Length :

Materials :
- slices of tree trunk
- 1 garbage bag/student
- questionnaires A & B
- tree identification guide

Link with climate change

Trees are dependent of many climatic factors for a healthy growth. Temperature, precipitation and wind play an important role in the growth and survival of trees. With climate change, scientists predict a temperature increase and more or less frequent precipitations depending on the region. Also, wind velocity could increase and destroy trees.

Description of the activity

1. Observe the interior of a tree
Divide the class into groups. Each group receives a tree slice to observe. To help them with their observation, give them questionnaire A. Bring the class together after a few minutes and review the questions.

2. Observe the exterior of a tree
Individually or in groups of two students, ask them to find a tree in the forest and to observe its exterior. Distribute questionnaire B and ask them to fill it out. Review with the group.

3. Solo
Explain to the students that this activity will be done individually. Each one should find a tree in the forest and look at it, smell it, feel it, listen to itů They can sit on a garbage bag. This should be done for 5 to 10 minutes. (The teacher can read a story about the forest to calm the students before the activity).

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Questionnaire A

Looking at the slice of tree trunk, answer the following questions:

1. Estimate the age of this tree.

2. What was the height of this tree before it was cut down?

3. What do the rings of the tree represent?

4. Looking at the rings, estimate the age of the tree.

5. Which year seems to have had the best growth? What could have been the contributing factors?

6. Which year seems to have had the worst growth? What could have been the contributing factors?

7. How do you think precipitations affect the growth of a tree?

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Questionnaire B

Looking at the exterior of the tree, answer the following questions:

1. What are the important characteristics of this tree?

2. What kind of tree is it?

3. Is it healthy? Why? Why not?

4. Is this kind of tree common in our forests?

5. If temperatures increase, what do you think would happen to this tree?

6. If temperatures decrease, what would happen to this tree?

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