Our Ideal Tree
To learn basic facts about trees
- Lots of different colors of paper
- Colored pencils
- Cardboard (optional)
An arts-and-crafts project for young children: Prior to the session, cut out the trunk and branches of a tree from large strips of brown paper or cardboard. Attach the strips of paper together on the wall to form the trunk and branches. Be sure to properly support the tree and keep in mind that it will weigh more after it is decorated.
Now, ask the kids to name different products, such as fruits, seeds, berries, and flowers, that grow on trees, as well as the different living things that depend on or live in them. Now they can decorate your tree. They can start by cutting out leaves from colored paper and taping them on the branches; they can then add fruits, berries, seeds, flowers, and other features.
Finally, the kids can draw and color animals that utilize or depend on trees (squirrels, ants, butterflies, lizards, etc.). For younger kids, you can print or draw animals in advance.
Ask the kids to think about daily actions that they can take to benefit the environment, support biodiversity, or increase conservation (e.g., conserving water, turning off lights, walking, using both sides of paper, and planting a garden). The kids can then cut out large paper leaves, write their ideas on them, and attach them to the tree. Or on large paper leaves the kids can write short descriptions of their ideal world, or perhaps changes they would like to see in their community. These changes can be attitude changes, such as toward garbage, or something fun and crazy that they would like to have in town, like a giant rollercoaster. They can attach these, too, onto the tree. They can also write the names of local tree species on the paper leaves.
This lesson plan is an activity from the Environmental Activities for Youth Clubs and Camps, a resource developed by the Peace Corps Office of Overseas Programming and Training (OPATS). It was contributed by Peace Corps/Mexico.