School Grounds Lessons


Here are some activities you can use with your students. Some need an area with trees, some can be done on any school grounds, regardless of what is there. 
 

 

K-4 Lessons

 

All About My Tree (Field Enhancement 1 from LEAF Lesson Guide K-1 unit)

 

Students record their observations and draw an adopted tree. Students then share information about their trees and create a class scrapbook.

 

 

 

Sensing the Forest (Field Enhancement 2 from LEAF Lesson Guide K-1 unit)

 

Students learn about living and nonliving parts of the forest through a series of sensory activities. The lesson concludes with each student using his or her senses of touch, smell, and hearing to investigate a tree while blindfolded.

 

 

 

Searching for Basic Needs (Field Enhancement 3 from LEAF Lesson Guide K-1 unit)

 

Students explore what an imaginary animal needs to survive, and they decide if it could live on their playground. Then the students look at the needs of real animals that may live in their schoolyard.

 

 

 

I Can Be a Forester (Field Enhancement 1 from LEAF Lesson Guide 2-3 unit)

 

Students get a taste of what foresters do by collecting and discussion data.

 

 

 

Forest Energy Scavenger Hunt (Field Enhancement 3 from LEAF Lesson Guide 2-3 unit)

 

Students go on a scavenger hunt and play a game to learn about the flow of energy through a forest ecosystem.

 

 

 

Caring for the Future of Forests (Field Enhancement 3 from LEAF Lesson Guide 4 grade unit)

 

Students learn what a tree needs to grow, how to choose an appropriate site, and how to properly plant a tree by putting gone in their schoolyard.

 

 

 

Measurement: Inches and Centimeters (from LEAF School Grounds Activities Collection)

 

Students will practice measurement and graphing skills by using rulers to measure the length of common objects they find outside.

 

 

 

I See Color All Around (from LEAF School Grounds Activities Collection)

 

Students will practice their color words by finding objects outside that match the color words.

 

 

 

Patterns and Shapes in Nature (from LEAF School Grounds Activities Collection)

 

Students will go outside to locate objects that match the shape words on their worksheet.

 

 

 

Estimating and Graphing Outdoors  (from LEAF School Grounds Activities Collection)

 

Students will estimate the number of objects inside a sample plot and then create a classroom graph of the data collected.

 

 

 

 5-8 Lessons

 

Tree Identification (Field Enhancement 1 from LEAF Lesson Guide 7-8 unit)

 

Students are introduced to dichotomous keys and tree identification vocabulary to identify common Wisconsin trees. 

 

 

Forest Mapping (Field Enhancement 2 from LEAF Lesson Guide 7-8 unit)

 

Students work in groups to map features of a forest plat using data collection, tree identification, measurement, and ageing. 

 

 

Plant Biology on Your School Grounds (from LEAF School Grounds Activities Collection)

 

Students will step outside on their school grounds to connect plant vocabulary words learned in the classroom to plants found outside on the school site.

 

 

GPS Basics on Your School Grounds (from LEAF School Grounds Activities Collection)

 

               Students will become familiar with the use of GPS technology.  They will use GPS to navigate to a point and will 

               observe and describe that site as a team.  

 

 

Model Inquiries into Nature for TeachingScience – The MINTS book  (from Virginia Tech Science Outreach Program)

 

An Inquiry Field Guide to the Natural History of Schoolyards, Backyards, and Parks

 

 

 

9-12 Lessons

 

Ecology Observations (from LEAF School Grounds Activities Collection)

 

Students will step outside to connect ecology concepts learned in the classroom to the ecosystem and communities found outdoors in the ‘natural’ environment.

 

 

 

Plant Biology on Your School Grounds (from LEAF School Grounds Activities Collection)

 

Students will step outside on their school grounds to connect plant vocabulary words learned in the classroom to plants found outside on the school site.

 

 

 

Model Inquiries into Nature for TeachingScience – The MINTS book  (from Virginia Tech Science Outreach Program)

 

An Inquiry Field Guide to the Natural History of Schoolyards, Backyards, and Parks