Saturday, April 25, 2020

Trees and Maple Sugaring

     Early this spring, students studied all about trees at SMART START. Maple trees and the seasonal staple of maple sugaring were highlighted during this unit of study.

Read below to view our lessons on trees.

    Learning in and about nature is an essential component of our core curriculum. All ventured into our outdoor classroom to read books under the trees and explore related features such as leaves, pine cones, bark and sticks. Environmental education provides endless benefits for children some being but not limited to: 
  • Develop a respect for wildlife
  • Enhance curiosity and discovery 
  • Instill a sense of responsibility to care for our planet
  • Encourage an active and healthy lifestyle
  • Promote social and emotional well-being 

     Pupils participated in a language arts leaf matching game. All practiced upper and lower case letter identification, connecting letters to corresponding sounds and spelling the words “tree”, “stick” and “trunk”.

     The class circled outside for a storytime. Here are some facts we acquired about trees:

  • Trees are plants that grow from seeds
  • Some common species in New England are: oak, birch, beech, cedar, pine, apple and maple
  • The rings inside a trunk can help determine the age of a tree
  • Fruits, nuts, flowers and sap come from certain trees
  • Trees produce oxygen-fresh air for us to breathe

     Creative classmates designed a tree masterpiece using paper, paint, stickers and their handprints. With a brush and paint, all made a brown trunk and green treetop. Next, hands were painted and prints were placed to make colorful leaves. Themed stickers were used for finishing touches. 

     Miss Maura from the MA Audubon Ipswich River Sanctuary visited our school for an on-site field trip. Types of trees and the wildlife they attract were discussed through an informative presentation and interactive activities. Young learners were most fascinated by the maple sugaring process. Miss Maura lead the group outdoors to demonstrate how to use a tap, bucket and other tools. All had the opportunity to taste sap straight from a maple tree. After the field trip, friends enjoyed some pancakes and maple syrup.


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