In Lesson 6: Tree Adaptations, students identified at least 5 different tree species based on their ability to adapt to the two main climate factors of their project areas: precipitation and temperature. As a control, students also identified tree species outside of the recommended USDA Hardiness Zone to compare results. This tree data was modeled using iTree Design to determine which tree species are more likely to survive. Students noted the adaptations of the trees that are best suited for the precipitation and temperature of their area.
In Lesson 5: Canopy Assessment, students subtracted the annual amount of sequestered carbon dioxide from the carbon footprint of their zip code. This gave 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. In Lesson 6, students will examine which tree species are best suited for their area based on two factors that affect tree adaptations: precipitation and temperature.
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).
This lesson uses students' understanding of illnesses that can affect humans and relates them to maladies affecting trees. Classroom discussions of the various causal agents of human and tree maladies are followed with a field activity in which tree conditions are observed. Students collect photographs and data in the field and compile them into presentations.