*Temperate Forest Biome Field Trip

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Temperate Forest Biome for Young Children
By Monica Greenberg

The following activities are designed to complement the Temperate Forest Biome field trip. Many of the activities make use of additional internet resources, supplemental materials, and a variety of software programs. There are activity suggestions for all curriculum areas. Activities can be completed as a whole group or in learning centers.

Language Arts

Make a Forest ABC Book

  • Brainstorm with your students an alphabetized list of words relating to the deciduous forest.
  • Assign children to be the authors/illustrators of specific pages.
  • Pages can be completed in one of two ways. The first method would be to use paper and crayons, or any other art medium. The second way would be to use Kid Pix software and have students design their page with this program. Pictures could be printed out and saved, and/or placed into the slide show application to a multimedia presentation.
  • Use the steps of the writing process when completing the page.
  • Bind the completed pages together with a Table of Contents, Dedication, and About the Authors/Illustrators pages.
  • Proudly display your collaborative book in your school library or classroom.

Make a K-W-L chart as you and your students travel through the forest tour.

Make a poster encouraging responsible behavior in the forest.

Brainstorm with the class appropriate behavior and safety precautions while visiting the forest. Pair up children and have them illustrate one of the collaborative responses. Partners then write and edit 1 2 sentences to accompany their poster. When their sentences are ready to be published they can use pencil first and then black marker to write their sentences on their poster. Or, sentences can be written on sentence strips and attached to the poster. Display the posters throughout the school.

Write collaborative acrostic poetry using terms relating to the forest.

An excellent resource for this activity is the book titled, Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic, by Steven Schnur. Write completed poems on large sheets of poster board and illustrate. Or, write each phrase of the poem on a sentence strip and affix the strips to the poster board. A software suggestion is to use Microsoft Publisher to type up the poems and then print the poem out in poster size.

 

Drama

Put on a simple classroom play.

The following two books lend themselves well to dramatic activities. With simple props, a narrator, and characters the story can be acted out and retold.

Mushroom In The Rain, by Mirra Ginsburg

I use an old sheet for the mushroom and let children decide which animal they want to be. I read the story while the children act it out. I do this over several days so everyone gets a part.

In a Cabin, In a Wood, adapted by Darcie McNally

This book is an adaptation of the song. By turning a table onto its side (the cabin) and assigning parts, the story is sung while the children become the actors.

 

Literature Suggestions

Discover My World: Forest, by Ron Hirschi

Rookie Read About Science: Our Living Forests, by Allan Fowler

DK Look Closer: Forest Life, by Barbara Taylor

How The Forest Grew, by William Jaspersohn

A Tree Is Growing, by Arthur Dorros

The Mushroom Hunt, by Simon Frazer

 

Science

Create a clustering diagram about a forest animal.

The field trip presented information about the raccoon and the bear cub. Use this graphic organizer for an in depth study of these animals, or pick one of your own.

Use a venn diagram to discuss similarities and differences between the forest biome and the biome in which your students live.

Create Temperate Forest Biome Facts booklets.

  • Generate a list of facts with your students regarding the forest biome.
  • Allow students to individually choose 5 facts, or think of their own facts.
  • Students will write each fact on one page of their booklets and add illustrations.
  • **This project could also be done using Kid Pix software and each child could create their own slide show.

Create a leaf identification book.

Affix real leaves from deciduous trees (or trace leaves from appropriate library books) onto 6" x 9" paper. Children label the name of the tree from which the leaf comes on each page. Stack the pages, create a book cover, punch two holes in the top edge of each page and tie with yarn.

 

Social Studies

Invite a forestry worker to visit your class. Prepare a list of interview questions with your students before the visit.

Go on a field trip to any park with deciduous trees. Sometimes zoos have habitat areas available for touring also.

Locate and label the deciduous forests on a USA/World map. Then visit this site and find some e-mail pals from those regions and ask what life is like in their biome.

 

Math

Create a neighborhood deciduous trees graph. Ask each child to walk through their neighborhood and count all the deciduous trees. Collect the information at school and graph on large chart paper. Add a title and text to the graph.

**Great software for this project is The Graph Club, by Tom Snyder.

Sort and classify leaves. Ask each child to bring to school a collection of leaves dropped from trees. Discuss and sort by attributes, color, shape, size, texture; ask more/less questions; do addition/subtraction problems with the leaves.

 

Art

Create a large collaborative mural of the temperate forest biome. Use a variety of art materials and recycled materials to create a 3-D effect. Include labels and information on the mural.

Gather materials from the park or forest and complete a nature crafts project.

Create a Deciduous Trees Paper Quilt

  • Give each child a 10 x 10" paper square.
  • Students use an art medium to create a tree and label they tree type.
  • Attach all of the tree squares together to make one giant wall hanging.
  • Use adding machine tape for the border around the paper squares.
  • Students make repeating leaf print patterns along the paper strips.
  • Students label their pattern around the quilt so it reads maple-maple- birch-maple-maple-birch-etc.

Make a leaf mobile.

Collect deciduous leaves and flatten between a stack of books for several days. Place the flattened leaves between two layers of wax paper and iron. Cut around the "laminated" leaves, punch a hole, and string the leaves onto yarn. Hang the mobile from the ceiling or across the windows, or as a change across the room.

Do a leaf rubbing.

Arrange leaves on a table "bumpy" side up. Tape the leaves to the table so they do not move around. Lay a thin paper onto of the leaves and rub gently with the side of a crayon. Use different colored crayons for a fall season look.

Create a shoebox diorama of a scene in the forest.

Use paper, clay, plastic animals, etc. Students can then work through the writing process , learning about paragraph formation, as they write a description of their forest scenes.

 

 

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