Select Page

For several years I was a librarian on a summer school program. This involved storytelling, group reading activities and organizing research projects. Most of the students enjoyed library, although of course it depended on a child’s disposition!

One July the library was being renovated. This meant taking the books to the classrooms. I would load a supermarket trolley with books, and travel from classroom to classroom. One day, walking through the playground, I had an idea: I would take the children into the playground to identify trees. That night I made a worksheet to take to the classes, along with the library’s tree guide books.

We started by using the tree guides to complete a worksheet. When I gave the students another handout and told them we were going outside to look at real trees there was much more enthusiasm! They enjoyed making bark rubbings, drawing leaves and doing other related things such as playing hide and seek around the trunks.

Back inside the classroom to complete our identifications using the reference books, a boy complained. All trees are the same. It was pointless, he said. I was amazed: we had just looked at an ash, a walnut, and a pine tree! Insisting they really were different, I handed him a tree guide. While we completed our worksheets he completely ignored us, lost in the pages of that book. I believe at least one student discovered the world of trees that day!

Remembering the experience inspired me to write this Tree ID resource. It provides examples of parts of a tree to project on the wall before going outside, and includes everything you need to take your class outside to learn more about the wonderful world of trees!