BRING THE ADIRONDACKS INTO YOUR CLASSROOM


ADIRONDACK CHALLENGES

Tree Branch Mobiles
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Grade: 2nd Grade Author: Margaret O'Leary
NYS Content Area Standard:
Math, Science & Technology:
Standard 4: Science
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
English Language Arts:
Standard 3: Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Natural History
Performance Indicators:

MST 4-Living Environment  Key IdeaVIII-Individual Organisms and species change over time PI-1: Students describe how the structures of plants and animals compliment the environment of the plant or animal.

ELA 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation. Key Idea II-Speaking and Writing PI 3-Students monitor and adjust their own oral and written presentations to meet criteria for competent performance

NATIONAL STANDARDS

  • Science: Life Sciences
  • Life Skills: Thinking & Reasoning; Working with Others
  • Language Arts: Reading; Writing; Speaking & Listening
Keywords: tree identification, mobiles
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: Which tree is you? How can we tell one type of tree from another?
Context:

Challenge originally created by Margaret O'Leary & Maureen Peroza.

Teachers will want to ensure the availability of a wide variety of resources (books, field guides, posters, etc) that describe/illustrate the characteristics of different tree types common to the Adirondacks (see Resources noted below). The teacher may also want to “coach” students in developing their observational and differentiating skills when looking at objects that are related but not the same. These skills will need to be honed as students compare common elements of all trees: the whole tree, leaves, twigs, bark, and seeds.

The Challenge:

In teams of four arranged with the help of your teacher, create a mobile made from the key parts of one of the four tree types common to the northern forests that you chose to study. You will be using this mobile to help you introduce your tree to the class in a presentation that you will give while standing next to your tree.

Directions for Students: As you prepare to create the mobile for your teaching presentation, please consider the following:

  • Using your mobile and presentation, you should share accurate information about your tree that you have identified and researched using a field guide and other materials provided by your teacher. You will be able to collect some of this information first hand when you go into the field to identify, photograph, and collect samples from your special tree.
  • During your field research you should collect samples of your tree’s branches, twigs, leaves, and seeds. These are the parts you will use to assemble your mobile. You might have to take a rubbing of your tree's bark rather than injure your tree by stripping living bark from it. You might also include a photograph of the whole tree and a card naming your tree as part of your mobile.
  • When you present your mobile and tree be sure that your facts are accurate and that you model the criteria for Quality Speaking agreed to in class and mentioned below.
  • Each group member should be prepared to teach your classmates (or parents) about two or more of the elements of your mobile.

When finished doing your own presentation and learning from others, each team member should be prepared to identify all four of the types you’ve studied either from photograph or while walking along a trail in the woods.

Book Resources:

  • "The Secret Life of Trees" by  Chiara Chevallier
  • "The Tree Identification Book" by George W.D. Symonds
  • "Trees, Leaves and Bark" by Diane L. Burns
  • "Tree"  Eyewitness Books
  • "A Tree is Growing" by Arthur Dorros
  • "Tell Me, Tree" by Gail Gibbons
  • "How the Forest Grew" by William Jaspersohn
  • "The Big Tree" by Bruce Hiscock

Examples of Student projects: 1, 2, 3, 4

A Northern Forest Partnership challenge

Quality Standards:
  • Mobile is created from actual tree parts, rubbings, or photograps unique to the tree type under study.
  • Mobile includes a card naming the tree represented
  • The speakers during the tree presentation each discuss two or more parts of the mobile correctly
  • The speakers during the tree presentation model the criteria for Quality Speaking
  • All the information/facts shared in the presentation are accurate
  • Each team member can identify all four tree types common to northern forests either in photographs or in the field.
Product Quality Checklist
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Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:

Mobile is created from actual tree parts, rubbings, or photograps unique to the tree type under study 

Mobile includes a card naming the tree represented

The speakers during the tree presentation each discuss two or more parts of the mobile correctly

The speakers during the tree presentation model the criteria for Quality Speaking:

  • Speak clearly
  • Use appropriate pace
  • Speak fluently using appropriate intonation, expression and emphasis
  • Use animation in the form of gestures and facial expression
  • Use appropriate props

All the information/facts shared in the presentation are accurate

Each team member can identify all four tree types common to northern forests either in photographs or in the field

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