Exploring Biomes - Temperate Forests

Using Remarkable Trees of the World, by Thomas Pakenham, I showed the children photographs of the largest, tallest and oldest trees in the world.  Other interesting facts about roots and number of leaves on one tree, which I had found in my research, were shared.

Next the children created their own sequoia tree pictures following the directions in Animal Habitats! by Judy Press.  We added printed labels I had created at home.  The labels included information about native ranges, height, trunk circumference, and thickness of bark.

Part of a lecture derived from Properties of Ecosystems, by Debbie and Richard Lawrence, lesson 10, was given.  Deciduous trees (broad leaf trees) and four seasons were the topics.

Then, using select pages from Eyewitness Books: Tree, by David Burnie, as visual examples of tree parts, the students completed a worksheet from Fascinating Facts: Science, Grades 2-3, p. 121 "The Key to the Tree."  Additionally, I had brought in a few seed pods and leaves from our backyard trees to examine.  The children got a kick out of the size of the catalpa's leaves and seed pods.

The second part of the lecture from Properties of Ecosystems followed with a concentration on the flora (plants) and fauna (animals) found within a temperate forest.

Another activity, autumn leaf rubbing, from Animal Habitats! was completed.  The children were very intent on choosing different leaves and colors to create their own "Deciduous Tree Leaves" page.  One of the other moms serves as a supply person and she found a wonderful variety of leaves for the children to examine and use in this activity.

As the children slowly finished, they began to fill in a Habitat worksheet for Temperate Forests.  This time, I asked students in second and third grade to use words, but kindergartners and first graders could still draw pictures.

Once every child was done with their leaf rubbing page, we gathered in a circle to read One Small Place in a Tree, by Barbara Brenner. 

Habitat worksheets were added to and finished after the book was read.

Temperate Forests, by Peter Benoit
Eyewitness Books: Tree, by David Burnie
Remarkable Trees of the World, by Thomas Pakenham
One Small Place in a Tree, by Barbara Brenner

Extras for my child:  A benefit of having mom as his science co-op teacher?

Planet Earth, Education Edition: Seasonal Forests, Discovery Education, DVD - great segments on different forests around the world

Wild Tracks! by Jim Arnosky - Filled with fascinating drawings of life size animal prints on fold out pages, this book includes some text to explain the animals and their behavior, but the foot prints are the main attraction to this book. 

Maple tree drawing, leaf and bark rubbings (This idea was found in Tell Me, Tree: All About Trees for Kids, by Gail Gibbons and coincided with our son's Travel the World: North America studies)

Moose drawing from Easy to Read! Easy to Draw! Animals (also coincided with his Travel the World: North America studies)

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