Monday, November 10, 2008

Educating Children and Teachers about Trees

I went for a walk in the woods yesterday: In New York, there are still a few trees with a spectacular array of color. Most leaves are on the ground. Children and the young at heart find frolicking in the downed leaves brings great joy. The cautious and those feeling old, though they may be young, worry a bit about the leaves being slippery if they are wet but join in autumn reverie. Fall scents fill the air.

Twigs and bark are easily visible. Leaves can be examined readily. Autumn is a time for learning about trees.

"There can be so many leaves. Which trees are they from? Are these all oaks? How do we tell them apart?"

"How do you tell a swamp maple from a striped maple, from a red maple, from a sugar maple? How can we make maple syrup?"

"Look at the bark on that tree. It looks like one tree near the ground and like a completely different tree five or six feet up!"

The air is also full of inquisitiveness. It is a, "teachable moment."

Here is a resource to assist both teachers and students with tree education:

Enjoy the fall. Since these activities carry over into winter, enjoy the winter, too!

Dr. J
(c) 2008. J. S. Shipman

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