The forest is beautiful and awe inspiring. We noticed that our four kids appreciate the beauty as much as we do. We decided to take the appreciation a step further and turn it into a science lesson. Luckily, Grandpa, a retired college science professor, was on hand to teach them the differences between coniferous and deciduous trees. This would be easy to duplicate in a classroom setting with or without real leaves and cones.
|Coniferous and Deciduous Trees
Learning About Trees in the Forest: Coniferous and Deciduous
You will need:
Explain that coniferous trees have cones that contain seeds to grow new trees. These trees stay green all year and do not lose their leaves. Deciduous trees, are the picture of fall, with leaves that change colors and fall to the ground leaving the branches barren until the new leaves emerge in warmer weather. If you have at least two pictures of each type of tree, have the children guess which type of tree each picture represents. Allow the children to explore the leaves and needles with their senses. you could have one basket with fallen leaves and another with small branches from coniferous trees. How do they feel, dry vs. fresh? Do they look different? What are some adjectives to describe them? How do they sound when they touch them close to their ears? How do they smell?
Have them compare the two types of trees by exploring their needles and leaves.
Leaves in the creek from deciduous trees
If you have been using fresh leaves and needles, have the children use them in a nature collage by gluing them on to paper. Small cones can be used to make simple necklaces with a little string. Larger cones could turn into bird feeders with peanut butter and seeds. They could painted instead to be transformed into an art piece. You could even allow the children to make the leaves and cones sparkle with glitter if you dare. Or, create a group art piece with clear contact paper (sticky side up) on the wall where children can add the leaves and needles.
Here are some more Forest Themed Activities from the Early Childhood Education Team. #TeachECE
Forest Habitat Diorama by
Tiny Tots Adventures
Forest Animal Rhyming Treasure Hunt by Growing Book by Book
Mom Inspired Life
Roll a Story Woodland Animals: An Early Writing Activity by The Educators’ Spin On It
Forest Animal Play Dough Small World by
Learning 2 Walk
Life Over C’s