A Tree is an Ecosystem
This lesson is intended to show how organisms rely on one another within ecosystems, and can be used to introduce abiotic and biotic ecosystem components. This micro-investigation can be done anywhere along the trails and can serve as a precursor to your weekly investigation. Students will have the opportunity to touch and explore the area around the base of a tree, the roots, and up the bole (trunk) into the canopy. In addition to having them write down various components of the tree ecosystem, consider having them write down 5 sensory "experiences" as part of their investigation ("Ecosystem Observation" journal page).
Students will be able to:
- Students will lay string around the base of a tree.
- If using a small tree, the string can be placed at the dripline (the area of the tree that is about as wide as the canopy).
- For larger trees, have the students place string in a circle around base of tree about one meter from trunk.
- Students will observe and write down all living and non‐living things that they find on and under the tree.
- Students will look up into the tree for bird’s nests, evidence of woodpeckers, etc. Students will take samples of leafs, bark, grass, weeds, etc from under the tree.
Relevant Journal Pages and Follow up Lesson:
Communi-tree Agreement: They could even draw themselves as a particular component of the tree ecosystem as their signature!
This lesson could potentially segue nicely into "Perspective Storytelling" Have them choose an organism to write a perspective story on : termite, bird, the tree, and ask that they introduce several other organisms found in the same ecosystem into their story.