One day, after picking my class up from recess, I noticed the entire class walk by an empty water bottle laying on the floor. I wondered to myself, why didn’t anyone pick it up and recycle it? Then I realized I needed a class lesson for students to take pride in their school and community because just telling them to pick up garbage was not going to be enough. That is where “My Pet Tree” comes in!
I took my class outside for a science lesson. They all picked a tree that they wanted to be ‘theirs’. It helped them to feel connected to our landscape and motivated them to want to learn about their tree.
After completing the attached pages, students became very attached to their tree. They even go and check up on their trees during recess or other times when they are playing in the school field.
It really opened their eyes to seeing things that were always there. They started to notice other trees in the neighborhood that were losing leaves and the trees that kept their leaves. They also started telling me about the bushes and shrubs in their yards and how they were changing. Changes that they never knew were happening before!
We did more research and they learned why some trees lose their leaves in winter and why some keep them year round. They learned why because they wanted to know why! Not because I assigned it. It was incredible!
I could see the change in them. They started to care more about the environment. They even started to notice the other garbage that was laying around our school’s property and asked if we could clean it up!
It was en eye-opening experience all because of a connection with a tree.
Have Fun Learning and Teaching!