Learning about trees? This tree unit study can get you started on learning everything you need to know about trees starting with this how trees breathe science experiment. Use this activity to round-out your tree thematic units.
Monkey is required to complete specific requirements to earn badges in Girl Scouts. This year, she worked toward earning the Communi-TREE patch. As she was completing the steps to earn the badge, I realized that the badge requirements were actually a tree unit study that the girls had to do.
You can use the same resources we did to complete your own tree unit study! It’s the perfect addition to your spring STEM activities!
Tree Unit Study
This unit study has six sections covering everything you need to know about trees.
Learn about the benefits of trees
We used this guide from Tree People to learn about some of the benefits of trees. Monkey selected six facts to report on for our study. We learned that trees clean the air, provide shade, prevent erosion, reduce climate change, produce oxygen, reduce pollution, and prevent water evaporation.
Find trees that grow well in your area
Learn about photosynthesis
Learn the parts of a tree
Plant a tree
What Plants Produce the Most Oxygen?
This science experiment was authored and run entirely by my fourth grader.
- Small containers of similar size (we used mason jars)
- Several types of leaves (we used leaves from three trees and two bushes)
Conducting the Experiment
We modified the classic science experiment where you sink a leaf in water to watch how it produces oxygen. When a leaf is submerged, you can see the oxygen it produces in the form of bubbles clinging to the leaves. Monkey hypothesized that the more bubbles a leaf produced, the more oxygen it could make. We gathered oak leaves, maple leaves, holly leaves, and two mystery leaves- one from a tree and one from a bush.
We placed the leaves in equal amounts of water (about a cup per leaf). We let the leaves sit in the water for one hour.
After an hour, we observed which leaves had the most bubbles. The maple leaf had the biggest bubbles, but the reddish mystery leaves from the bush had the most bubbles. The holly leaves and the mystery tree leaves had almost no bubbles. Through this experiment, Monkey determined that planting maple trees and the red-leafed bush would produce the most oxygen in any environment.
More Ways to Learn Outdoors
Map Skills for Kids: Backyard Treasure Hunt from Life Over C’s
Nests Nature Hunt for Kids from Still Playing School
How to Make an Outdoor Mud Kitchen from Parenting Chaos
Outside Arrays for Multiplication Practice from Line Upon Line Learning
Sidewalk Chalk Outdoor Math Game from Look! We’re Learning!
Gardening For Math Time from Preschool Powol Packets
Second Grade Math with Rocks from Sugar Aunts