We Get Kids THINKING About Trees

TEACHER and PARENT RESOURCES

Aside from the content on our site, (be sure to download our puzzle activities from our “Brainy Series” to get kids thinking about trees) there is a wealth of information about our amazing environment found on the Internet, if you know where to look!

On this page, we will attempt to post links to other sites we have discovered (or been introduced to) over time that we think you’ll like to explore and use to supplement your students learning experiences!

Note: Although the Arbor Rangers are based out of Indiana, the links featured on this page may be for websites, locations and organizations outside of the State of Indiana.

Internet Sites Featuring TREE-RELATED Information & Activities:

55 Stunning Botanical Gardens You Really Need to See Before You Die
This is an impressive compilation by Emily Moore (Writer for sproutabl.com) of must see botanical gardens from across the United States, including Hawaii! In her own words: “Are you ready for spring year-round? These gorgeous botanical gardens are true sights for sore eyes, boasting acres upon acres of luscious greenery, beautiful colors, unique plant-life, exotic butterflies, and even some fun activities for the kids. Pack your bags and check these botanical gardens off your bucket list!”

Arbor Day Foundation
Ready to integrate some tree-related activities into your classroom this Arbor Day? Try out some of the suggestions found on this site.

Education World “Happy Arbor Day: Tree Lessons”
Many states — 34 in all — celebrate Arbor Day in April. Between Arbor Day and Earth Day, this month is a great time to branch out and include timely tree lessons in your curriculum. Why not go out on a limb! Included: Lessons on measuring trees, reading a color key map, creating tree silhouettes and a “good behavior tree,” more.

Hoosier ReLeaf
Based in Fort Wayne, IN, Hoosier ReLeaf’s mission is to improve Indiana’s natural environment through tree-planting projects and environmental education programs. They have a wonderful Earth Day/Arbor Day celebration every year in late April and a fun Essay Contest with great prizes for fourth graders!

Illinois DNR “Kids for Trees”
Production of the original Kids for Trees conservation education kit represented a cooperative effort on behalf of a variety of public and private organizations. The financial contributions and technical support provided by the following organizations and individuals have made it possible for Illinois school children to have the opportunity to learn from Kids for Trees.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful – Kid Clubs
WHY KIDS NEED NATURE: In a world of ever-advancing technology, demanding schedules and more school time spent indoors, many children today find themselves disconnected from the natural world. The truth is that spending time outdoors in nature has been proven to be beneficial for children in almost all parts of their life. Not only does it help prevent obesity, reduce stress and build self-esteem, it can also help increase focus inside of the classroom, as well as improve cognitive functions, social skills, leadership and collaboration. Check out the research and see for yourself the health and well-being benefits of connecting children to nature!

National Wildlife Federation “Trees for Wildlife” Program
Trees for Wildlife provides adult leaders with fun, hands-on, science-based activities to help young people learn about the importance of trees and how to plant and take care of trees.

Native Trees of Indiana
Discover the diverse native trees of Indiana using this sortable-searchable tree list. Also features some invasive species to avoid planting.

Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning internationally recognized environmental education program that provides ready-made lessons and activities for educators. PLT can integrate easily into an existing curriculum and can be used to supplement all subject areas. PLT uses the forest as a “window to the world,” helping young people gain an awareness and knowledge of the world around them and their place within it. Students develop skills in creative problem solving, critical thinking, and evaluation and research while having fun.

Purdue University – Youth Development & Agricultural Education “Forestry (Indiana 4-H)”
The forestry project will help you to learn how to identify trees, uses of trees, the benefits of trees, and the importance of our woodlands. A knowledge of trees and woodland management leads to a greater enjoyment of the outdoors. An understanding of tree characteristics will allow future landowners to choose the best varieties for urban or rural benefits that include cooling, wildlife habitat, and reducing erosion and other types of pollution.

RETREET
An important part of our mission is to educate the next generation of environmental stewards. We speak to kids of all ages about the importance of trees within their community, and ask them to draw a tree for us. See one you like? Click it! Turn an imaginary tree into a real one that will be planted in the disaster area of your choosing.

Talk About Trees
This page contains 9 lesson plans to help educate children about the responsible management and use of California’s most renewable resources.

The Morton Arboretum
Can trees be used to teach science, math, reading, and writing principles? The answer: Yes! Gain the knowledge and skills needed to include nature education in your classroom and meet other learning objectives at the same time. Enroll in courses that count toward CPDUs, or browse the teacher resources to receive practical tools to incorporate nature into your daily lesson plans.

The Teacher’s Guide
The Teacher’s Guide website features Arbor Day lesson plans, printouts, whiteboard resources and crafts.

Trees Are Good
TreesAreGood.org provides the public with educational information about the benefits of trees and how to properly care for trees in the urban environment. The site contains resources from the International Society of Arboriculture, and also provides a collection of reliable tree care information provided by other industry organizations.

Trees Indiana
At Trees Indiana, we are passionate about young people from all walks of life being able to experience that magical “sense of wonder” moment, sparking a special connection to nature. Reconnecting with nature and disconnecting from a constant virtual indoor reality is taking hold around the country.

Unique Teaching Resources “The Giving Tree” Lesson Plans
This page contains The Giving Tree lesson plans, teaching resources, and fun student projects.

Wesselman Nature Society “Tree-Mendous Trees Lesson Plans” (Grade 3, PDF download)

Do you know of a great website that’s not listed here which features wonderful learning tools and activities about trees? Email us about it so we can add it to our list!

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS – Have you considered further studies in Urban Forestry? Arboriculture? Social-Ecological Systems? etc. Then you may wish to consider the following:


Locations in INDIANA to view and study trees:
(Some nature sites feature onsite Learning Centers, Nature Trails, Tours and Educational Programs, etc.).

  • Friesner Herbarium (Butler University, Indianapolis, IN) – The Herbarium is open to the public by appointment. Call (317) 940-9413 or e-mail Dr. Rebecca Dolan at rdolan@butler.edu to arrange a visit. The staff can assist with identification of plants you bring in and can also help you to locate sites where plants you wish to find may grow. You may also download the Guide for the Tree Walk.
  • Garfield Park Conservatory (Indianapolis, IN)
    Garfield Park Conservatory is located within the 136 acre Garfield Park, on Indianapolis’ near south side. The facility is open to the public and offers workshops, gardening demonstrations, youth education and guest lecturers on horticulture and landscaping. The conservatory features special exhibits throughout the year, including holiday poinsettias, orchids and the spring bulb show!
  • Hayes Arboretum (Richmond, IN)
    Enjoy winter activities at Hayes Arboretum that transition into our busy Spring season that is just several weeks away. The Hayes Experience – “Something for Everyone.”
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indianapolis, IN)
    With benches and walking trails throughout, the IMA invites visitors to explore this quiet oasis just 10 minutes from downtown Indianapolis.
  • Purdue Arboretum (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN) – The Purdue Arboretum invites the entire Purdue community — students, faculty, staff, and locals from the Lafayette-West Lafayette area and beyond, to join the arboretum as we host professionals, specialists, and more to give talks on various plant and topics. Since the Purdue Arboretum is part of the university campus it is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free to all visitors.  (Office is available by appointment.)
  • Taltree Arboretum & Gardens (Valparaiso, IN)
    Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is a dog-friendly oak preserve of formal gardens, woodlands, wetlands and prairies that offers a variety of events, classes and exhibits year-round.
  • Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve (Evansville, IN)
    Awaken your students to the wonders of nature! Come and explore the natural world in our outdoor classrooms. Let us make hands-on discovery the key to your student’s learning. WNS programs teach environmental awareness and appreciation to lead students toward further investigations and environmental actions.

MORE TO DISCOVER IN INDIANA:

 

Have you been to a scenic garden, park or forest to view trees that is not listed here? Email us about your visit and its location and we may feature it here!

 

WHY TREES?

Follow along as this lecture doodle (produced by the Alabama Co-op Extension) examines some of the basic reasons why trees are important not just for their beauty but also for their contributions to our health, our community of citizens, and our economic stability. Tree cover in our towns and cities contributes much. But because the benefits of trees are passive and accumulate slowly, they are unacknowledged until they are missing.

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