December and early January is an excellent time of year to initiate the study of coniferous trees. At the conclusion of the Christmas season, discarded Christmas trees can be used to enhance direct learning experiences. A variety of coniferous trees can be collected, identified and studied. Comparisons between different types of conifers can be made by examining the trees.
1. Students will be able to recognize various evergreen trees by noting the size and shape of the needles and the number of needles in a bundle.
2. Students will be able to determine the age of many evergreen trees by counting the whorls of branches and/or annual growth rings of the wood.
3. Students will suggest at least two ways of re-using Christmas trees.
1. Discarded Christmas may provide the ingredients for a variety of direct learning experiences.
2. Christmas trees may be productively re-used in the environment instead of becoming a source of solid waste pollution
ESS3.C - Human impact on earth systems
This teaching model has a Teachers Page, A page with Seven investigations for students, A vocabulary page, A key to identify the three major Christmas Trees, A supplemental research sheet, A Student Collection Worksheet and a supplemental student research sheet and several Task Cards.
John F. Gardner
The Environmental Ed Guy