One single tree can provide the oxygen required for two human beings and over 8,000 sheets of paper. Trees can also clean the soil and air by absorbing harmful pollutants. So what have you done for a tree lately? Nature centers and state parks provide a hands-on environment to discover facts about native plants and animals, as well as ways to preserve these natural resources.
BEFORE YOU GO
- Review relevant vocabulary and key terms: preserve, resource, environment, sustainable, habitat.
- Call ahead to the nature preserve and ask for maps and field guides that the students can preview before the trip and utilize while they are at the nature center.
- Ask students to list what they use in their everyday lives that comes from nature, specifically trees and plants. Ask them to remember and consider these uses while they are visiting the nature center.
Students explore nature in its natural habitat and gain an appreciation and understanding of the importance of preserving it.
WHAT TO WONDER
Ask: What makes these plants unique? Why are they able to survive and thrive in this specific environment? What do these plants provide for people and other plant and animal species?
Describe what you see, hear, and smell. How does it feel to stand amidst nature in its natural habitat?
Observe the unique characteristics of different plants.
Opinion: Should humans make efforts to preserve nature? If so, what is the best way to preserve it?
Compare two plant species you observed at the center. What do they look like? What are their capabilities? What do they contribute to the environment?
Challenge: Brainstorm ways that students can preserve nature.
Discuss: Why is it important that nature be preserved?
Project: Create a directory for your state and/or city that lists and describes the plants and wildlife that are unique to that environment.
Research what plants are extinct and what plants are in danger of becoming extinct.
Social Impact: Promote living sustainably and practice it yourself. Find ways that you can improve and protect nature in your everyday life.