i-Tree Unit Intro: Tree Inventory - Map Your Schoolyard


Activity Description: 

Students walk around their schoolyard to conduct a Tree Inventory that assesses land usage and the existing trees. They note the different ways that the land is being used (i.e, residential, commercial, parks) and draw these on the map in their Lab Journal. They also draw all of the existing trees on their school’s block. In addition, students collect data about each tree (i.e., evergreen or deciduous, condition of tree and the impact on the area it is growing). When students conduct the Canopy Assessment in Lesson 6, they could compare these actual findings to the i-Tree data they research.

Educational Standards: 

Next Generation Science Standards:

MS­ESS3­3: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment.

MS­LS2­1: Organisms and populations of organisms are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and nonliving factors.

Common Core:

CCSS.ELA­ LITERACY.RST.6­8.7: Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table)

Pre-Activity Prep: 

Prepare a Unit Binder for each student:

Materials for Unit Binder

  • 1 3 ring binder (1⁄2 ­ 1 inch)
  • 8 dividers with tabs
  • Paper inserts for tabs
  • 3 hole puncher

Instructions for Unit Binder

Provide students with binders and dividers

Instruct students to add the names of each lesson to the paper tab inserts

  • Water Cycle & Weather 
  • Evaporation Lab
  • Carbon Footprint Lab
  • Carbon Cycle
  • Canopy Assessment Lab 
  • Tree Adaptations 
  • Tree Planting Design
  • Planting Report 

Instruct students to add their names to their binders

Hole punch each lab journal before handing to students

Instruct students to add their blank lab journal to their binders

Students will keep their binders as they will need them for homework assignments. You can do daily binder checks at the end or beginning of lessons to ensure completion. You can weight the daily binder check as a participation grade. After the Planting Report lesson, students will turn in their binders for a qualitative grade. The Planting Report will count as an assessment and you can also give a classwork grade for properly recording responses in the lab journals.

  • Clipboards
  • Paper
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
1 - 2 Class Periods
i-Tree Lessons, http://www.itreelessons.com/