Suitable for Key Stage 1

A basic introduction to the world of trees as plants, their structure, their means of reproduction and their importance to all life forms.

Which season is best for this activity?

This session is best done in Spring or Summer

Learning objectives and links to the national curriculum

This session focuses on the Year 1 and 2 Science Programme of Study “Plants”. It applies to both key stages and comprises three strands, each led by a HLC volunteer.  
Each of the three strands will focus on a key science learning skill, namely:

  1. Identifying: using a key to identify and name some well-known trees, all of which are found throughout Richmond Park. This would include an element of classification i.e. deciduous vs. evergreen. Leaves, stems and fruit would be the basis of this ID task.
  2. Observation: observe the anatomy and the main parts of a tree; use natural 'waste' to make your own model of a tree to illustrate this anatomy.
  3. Investigation: Investigate a tree to identify its many uses e.g. as a habitat. Its uses to man, to make things, will be covered in the final session, with the whole group working from the mural in the picnic garden

Outline of the Activity

An introduction in the main classroom will set the scene for the session, with plenty of questions to bring in things the children already know about trees and their value to all life on the planet. We then divide into three groups and move outside to explore the fascinating world of trees. Each group will apply a scientific skill to bring to bear on the topic of trees.
Finally, we gather together on the picnic lawn, in front of our famous mural, to spot as many things as we can that are made from wood, or which use wood as an important component.

Ideas for pre-visit learning

Before bringing a group to do this activity, here are ideas to help introduce the subject:

  • General discussion about trees, what the class knows already about them. Why are they important in the natural world?
  • What contribution do trees make to our everyday lives?

Ideas for follow up work back at school

  • Observe the trees near to the classroom. How do they change during the year? Why do they change?
  • Investigate the trees as habitats. Who lives in/on/in them?