Teachers! Looking for a great way to motivate your students to learn about the environment? Need an exciting culminating activity? Want to spice up your spring lessons??
Well you are in luck!
Every year the Utah division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands holds a state wide K-6 grade Arbor Day poster contest, and there is still time to enter! Deadline this year is Feb. 29th.
After teaching your students about Arbor Day and this year’s theme: “Trees are Terrific. . . useful in so many ways!” your student will then create posters and compete in school wide, regional, and state competitions and win prizes for themselves and your school!
Prizes include $500 for your school, $50 towards planting a tree at your school, nursery gift certificates and signed awards by the governor for the students, and more!
What’s even better is that USEE has partnered with Utah’s Forestry Division to make special professional development workshops for teachers. These workshops will highlight activities in our Project Learning Tree manual that you can use as part of your lesson planning for Arbor Day. Remember all of USEE’s PLT activities are correlated to Utah’s Core Curriculum standards.“We All Need Trees” on page 65 of the PLT preK–8 activity guide, is just one of the many activities you could use to get started on exploring why trees are so useful. This activity has students sort pictures, or actual products that may or may not come from trees. First they must guess what products do come from trees and then sort them into three categories: wood, food and paper. Some of the products include carpeting, chewing gum, soap and cellophane! After seeing the abundance of different products, you lead your class into a discussion about conservation practices.
My favorite part of this activity is the extensions, especially the “Treasure Tree” idea. What you do is take an old Christmas tree or large tree limb with lots of branches and make ornaments to hang on it that represents all the different kinds of tree products. Older students could include information about what part of the tree is used to make that product. What an awesome way to display the objective of the lesson, and I think it would look great in the hallway or lobby of a school, for everyone to learn from.
Another idea I had after doing this activity is surveying the classroom or school and gathering data about how many things are used in school that are or aren’t made from trees, and then display the data using a bar graph. You could compare and contrast tree products vs. not trees products, the three categories listed in the lesson, or which classrooms use more or less tree products.
For those who have already gone to a PLT workshop and own the activity guide here is a complete list of Arbor Day activities from the PLT activity guide word doc.
I greatly encourage going to one of our PLT Arbor Day workshops and/or registering for the Arbor Day poster contest, your students will have so much fun!
The date for the upcoming Arbor Day PLT workshop is:
Feb 25th at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (2155 W Forest St, Brigham City, UT)
Workshops are eligible for .5 USOE Credits. Cost: $25Click here for more information about Project Learning Tree