This series of activities can be done year round. Students are divided into four groups. Time frame for this series is approximately 2 hours.

Conceptual Framework: Plant structure and function, seed dispersal

Students learn about the life cycle of a plant doing this series of activities. They will go to the treelab platforms (#6) to look at various types of leaves, through the greenhouses and on a clue hunt to discover the process of germination.

Activity One: Pass the Plants, Please
Activity Two: Have Seeds Will Travel
Activity Three: Tree Life Cycle
Activity Four: Wild Edible Plants

Pass the Plants, Please

  1. Docent will talk about the different foods that come from plants.
  2. Docent will pass out the student page and have them color and identify what part of the plant each comes from.
  3. Docent will discuss the answers and explain each.
  4. Students will be invited to share in Tree treats.

Have Seeds Will Travel

  1. Docent will ask students what seeds are and what they do.
  2. Students will be given a cup and told to collect any seeds they find for five minutes.
  3. Then pairs of students will drag a piece of cloth along the ground to see what seeds they pick up.
  4. Have students put masking tape on bottoms of shoes and walk around to see if they find anything new.
  5. Analyze the shapes and sizes of seeds and methods of seed dispersal.

Tree Life Cycle

  1. Docent will prompt students to think about the lifecycle of trees. What stages do they undergo?
  2. Have students mimic the changes. Start by curling up in a tight ball, representing a seed.
  3. Uncurl and kneel, sprouting.
  4. Stick one arm in the air, growing a branch.
  5. Hold up the other arm, growing another.
  6. Wiggle fingers, growing leaves.
  7. Stand up, growing tall.
  8. Spread feet apart, spreading roots
  9. Wiggle toes, growing little roots.
  10. Scratch all over, insect infestation.
  11. Make loud noise, struck by lightning
  12. Smile and sigh, home for wildlife
  13. Make hammering noise, woodpeckers attack
  14. Creaking sound and fall down, blown down in a storm
  15. Stick up one arm, coppice sprout from log.
  16. Take students to nearby trees and show them some of these different stages of life.

Wild Edible Plants

  1. Docent will discuss local edible plant species.
  2. Students will use reference materials to make their own sketchbook of wild edible plants.
  3. These will include the picture, name of the plant, and what portions are edible
  4. Students will be given opportunity to taste native edible plants.