Lessons content overview
Here’s the lessons you will find in The Grow-A-Tree Program for every grade:
The Needs of Living Things
The Needs of Living Things unit allows Grade 1 students to explore basic needs of plants and animals. The students will grow to understand that these needs are met from the environment.
In order to survive, animals need air, water, food, and shelter (protection from predators and the environment); plants need air, water, nutrients, and light. Every organism has its own way of making sure its basic needs are met. It is important that young children be given the opportunity to recognize these needs by observing and then describing the natural world.
This unit will help the educator introduce the class to the following concepts:
- Living things grow, take in food to create energy, make waste, and reproduce.
- Plants and animals, including people, are living things.
- Living things have basic needs (air, water, food, and shelter) that are met from the environment.
- Different kinds of living things behave in different ways.
- All living things are important and should be treated with care and respect.
Air and Water
Grade 2 lessons focus on the importance of air and water in the environment.
The lessons and activities will use trees to introduce your students to the following concepts:
- Air and water are a major part of the environment.
- Living things need air and water to survive.
- Changes to air and water affect living things and the environment.
- Our actions affect the quality of air and water, and its ability to sustain life
Growth and Changes in Plants
Growth and Changes in Plants introduces students to the characteristics of plants, what they need to survive, and the many different interesting ways in which plants grow.
Activities in the grade 3 lessons will encourage your students to observe and investigate a wide group of plants and consider the impact of human activity on plants and their habitats. Students will also be introduced to the role of plants in our lives as sources of oxygen, food, and shelter to highlight the need for humans to protect plants and their habitats.
The lessons and activities will introduce your students to the following concepts:
- Plants have distinct characteristics.
- There are similarities and differences among various types of plants.
- Plants are the primary source of food for humans.
- Humans need to protect plants and their habitats.
- Plants are important to the planet.
Habitats and Communities
The core of the Grade 4 program deals with introducing students to the concept of Habitats and Communities.
What is a habitat?
Different animals require different amounts of space. Habitats can be big like a forest, or they can be much smaller, like a burrow. Some animals defend a huge territory or roam over a large area. Other animals need only a small amount of space and can put up with neighbors that live close to them.
Different animals need different habitats. A fish, for example, needs clean water in which to live. A grasshopper, however, needs a big space where it can hop and leaves that it can eat.
Conservation of Resources
The core of the Grade 5 program deals with introducing students to the concept of Resource Conservation.
Resources are features of the environment that are important and of value to humans in one form or another. However, the advancement of modern civilization has had a great impact on our planet’s natural resources. So, conserving natural resources is very essential today. There are many ways that one can conserve natural resources. All you need to do is to look around, see what natural resources you are using, and find out ways to limit your usage. Many people use natural gas or oil to heat their water and their home. You can monitor how much you are using to minimize its usage.
While this unit will focus on the conservation of trees, there are many other natural resources that are best managed through conservation.
For conservation of natural resources like oil or natural gas, one can get a tankless water heater as it reduces the usage of natural gas. The other way to save on oil or gas is to use another energy source for instance hydro, solar or wind power are all healthy and great alternatives that conserve natural resources. In fact, these energy sources are clean and healthy for environment. They do not emit or produce harmful gases or toxins into the environment and are renewable.
Today, people are finding new ways to conserve natural resources. For example, practicing recycling and using recycled products. Many products come from the trees like paper, cups, cardboard and envelopes. By recycling these products you can reduce the number of trees cut down each year.
The core of the Grade 6 program deals with introducing students to the concept of Biodiversity.
Biodiversity is short for biological diversity, or, simply, the variety of life on earth.
It’s complicated, but there are two main points for you to take away from this definition:
1) The concept of biodiversity is scale-able. It can refer to variety of life in terms of the variety of life within a species all the way up to the diversity of ecosystems and bio-regions of life on the planet. Biodiversity can refer to the variety of:
- genes within populations
- populations within species
- species within communities and ecosystems
- ecosystems within landscapes
- landscapes within bioregions
- bioregions on the planet
2) Biodiversity is a key component of life on the planet. Without biodiversity and the connections and relationships it creates, life systems fall apart. Students will need to not only understand what biodiversity is, but also understand why we need to protect it. The Grow-A-Tree Program Biodiversity lesson plans focus on:
- Introducing the student to the concept of biodiversity though classification.
- Explaining why biodiversity is important.
- Examining threats to biodiversity.
- Demonstrating how students can help biodiversity in their own communities.
We are all part of the biodiversity on the planet, and biodiversity affects us in our everyday lives. We depend on the earth’s life systems to survive. Biodiversity is critical in supporting all life on Earth. Biodiversity leads to healthy productive oceans and lakes, clean air to breathe and healthy soils for plants that all living things, including people, need to live and survive.