i-Tree Unit Lesson 5: Canopy Assessment Lab


Activity Description: 

In Lesson 4: Carbon Cycle, students explored the ways that carbon is both produced and sequestered, and described how they would reduce carbon in the atmosphere (using text and visuals). As a follow up to calculating their personal carbon footprint in Lesson 3, students will calculate the carbon footprint of their zip code. Next, they will use the i­Tree Canopy online application to assess the area of tree canopy in their defined area and how much carbon is already being captured by the existing trees. Then students subtract the annual amount of sequestered carbon dioxide from the carbon footprint of their zip code. This will give them an understanding of the “carbon balance” of their zip code, or the amount of carbon that is possible to capture by planting additional trees.

Educational Standards: 

Next Generation Science Standards:

MS­LS4­4: Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.

MS­ETS1­1: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

Common Core:

CCSS.ELA­LITERACY.RST.6­8.8:Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.

CCSS.ELA­LITERACY.RST.6­8.9: Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

Pre-Activity Prep: 

This lab will use i­Tree’s Canopy online application. You will need access to a computer lab and computers must be connected to the internet. The application works best on Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome so make sure those browsers are installed on the computers.

You will also need to create a copy of the Google Form and insert it into the slide titled Data and in the lab journal

1. Copy the form to your google drive

2. Select Send Form

3. Check Short URL

4. Copy/paste the link into the Lab Journal under Data and in the presentation in the Data slide

During the lab you will use data from the form to create a chart so have the editing pane of the form open. Students will also need a space to save their files. You can achieve this by assigning computers and having students save to the hard drive, providing USB drives,  or getting them logins for Google Drive.

  • Computer with internet access
  • i­Tree Canopy
  • Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome
i-Tree Lessons, http://www.itreelessons.com/