FOSS Next Generation Trees and Weather
The Trees and Weather Module provides systematic investigations of trees and leaves over the seasons to bring students to a better understanding of trees’ place at school and in the community. Students observe day-to-day changes in weather over the year, as well as the impact weather has on living things.
Investigation 1: Observing Trees
Students begin their study of trees by looking at the variety and structure of trees in the schoolyard. They work with representational materials to look more closely at the shapes of trees and their parts. They adopt schoolyard trees to observe changes through the year. A living tree becomes part of the classroom for several weeks, and students complete the investigation by planting their class tree on the school grounds.
Investigation 2: Observing Leaves
Students begin with a schoolyard walk, focusing on the leaves of trees. They match leaves with geometric shapes, go on a leaf hunt to compare properties of leaves, work at centers with representational materials, and make a leaf book.
Investigation 3: Observing Weather
Students share what they know about weather and how it relates to air. They begin recording daily weather observations on a class calendar using weather pictures to indicate five basic types of weather. They use a thermometer to measure relative temperature (how hot or cold it is) and make a wind sock to observe wind direction and speed. Students observe and compare objects in the sky during the day and at night.
Investigation 4: Trees through the Seasons
Students extend their understanding of trees as a growing, changing, living part of their world. During each season, students visit the schoolyard trees; observe their twigs, leaves, flowers, and seeds; and compare them to those from a previous season.