Earth Month

This series of activities is done in April during Earth Month.

Students are normally put into three groups.

Time frame for this series of activities is 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Activity One: Old Field Succession
Activity Two: Invasive Exotics
Activity Three: We All Need Trees
Activity Four: A Peek at Packaging

Old Field Succession

  1. Docent will divide students into groups of four, assigning one student to manage instruments and another to record results.
  2. Students will investigate the assigned field transect area.
    They will measure abiotic factors such as light, humidity, and soil properties.
  3. They will draw or write about the different types of plants and animal life in the area and the frequency of each.
  4. Students will repeat this activity in a forest transect area.
  5. Have students compare the results from the two areas to determine the limiting factors.

Invasive Exotics

  1. Docent will take students into an area of the forest where some invasive species occur.
  2. Docent will identify some of the native trees and shrubs as well as the exotic plants that try to choke them out.
  3. Students will be shown how to remove some of the exotic plants from the forest.
  4. In the place that they removed the invasive species, they will plant native tree seedlings.

We All Need Trees

  1. Lay out newspaper, toothpicks, Almond Joy candy bar, piece of lumber, tissue paper, sponge, rayon clothing, baseball, chopsticks, vanilla flavoring, magazine, cardboard box, paint thinner, chewing gum, paint, cork, rubber gloves, apple, plastic comb, cellophane, wooden chair around the area and label each with a number.
  2. Divide the students into teams of four.
  3. Have groups move around and look at each product, deciding if they are made of trees.
  4. Give each group an article on uses of trees and have them read it aloud to one another.
  5. Students will re-evaluate products using new-found knowledge from articles.
  6. The Docent will discuss with the group which products are indeed made from trees.

A Peek At Packaging

  1. Docent will divide students into groups of four.
  2. Each group will receive several packages that consumer products came in.
  3. Docent will pass out Consumer choices worksheets (one per product) and a pencil to each group.
  4. Students will make judgments about the nature of the packaging and what can be done to make it better.
  5. All groups will then be given opportunity to share one product’s package with the entire group
    and explain how they think it can be improved.