A tree of all trees!

Resource Info

Basic Information

These activities will help reinforce concepts about the structure of trees and their importance in nature. The material can be directly distributed to children and explained before the activity is undertaken.

Duration: 
02 hours 00 mins
Introduction: 

In nature we find that a tree of a particular species has leaves all of the same kind. How would it be if a tree had different kinds of leaves? We can try making this imaginary tree. This is a tree that you can make with a variety of leaves and the fabric-like covering found around the coconut tree trunk.

Objective: 
  1. Students will learn the different parts of a tree and its functions
  2. Students will be able to distinguish between different kinds of leaves
  3. Students can improve their observational and analytical skills
Activity Steps: 

A tree of all trees!

For this project, on a bright and pleasant day set off with your students to collect leaves. Instruct the children to collect no more than two leaves from each kind of plant/tree. Ask them to gently pluck the leaf with its stalk, without disturbing the plant. Let them not touch seedlings and very young plants. You can collect leaves of mango, guava, peepul, custard apple, drumstick, tamarind, neem, lime, pomegranate, rubber, hibiscus, jasmine, chrysanthemum, rose, marigold, tulasi, ornamental plants, grass, and even leaves of plants you may not know the names of.

When you have together collected a hundred or more leaves, come back to the classroom. Pass the leaves, placed in trays or lids of cardboard boxes, around for all the children to see. Try and identify the leaves. Discuss their shapes, sizes, colours, old and young leaves, the difference between a leaf and a leaflet, etc. 

Once you are through with the discussions and questions, spread newspapers on the floor. Place the leaves you have collected on the newspapers with their faces down.  Take care to see that the leaves don’t overlap each other. After all the leaves are placed on the newspapers, cover them with more sheets of newspaper. Then put some heavy weights on this and wait for a week.

In the meanwhile, you can collect from a young coconut tree, the fabric that grows at the beginning of the leaf around the trunk. This you can use for the trunk of your own tree.

Now you can decide where you want your tree.  You could choose a compound wall of the school, a wall of the classroom or even a door. Depending on the size of the tree you are making, stick a small or large sheet of white paper. On this paper, draw a rough outline of the roots, the trunk, and the branches of a tree. Cut pieces of the coconut fabric and fill in the trunk of the tree using Fevicol to stick the pieces. The thinner parts of the fabric can be cut in shape and stuck for branches. Bring out the pressed leaves and paste them along the branches to complete the tree.

To make the tree more realistic, you could add an abandoned bird’s nest (if you find it) and place two bird chicks made of cotton balls. If you don’t find real nests you could simply roll up a piece of coconut fabric and stick it on to the tree trunk. You can make cotton-wool chicks with black beads for their eyes and tiny red paper beaks. Put these chicks in the nest you made. And your tree of all trees is ready!

Suggested discussions

Leaves: Parts of leaves, patterns formed by the mid-rib, veins and veinlets in each type of leaf, arrangement of leaves, types of leaves, plants from which these leaves were collected, relation between growth of leaves and seasons, dead leaves enriching the soil, uses of leaves in cooking, in medicines, vitamin content in edible leaves, dew-drops, related poems.

Tree: Different parts and their function, significance of leaf-bud and growth of a plant, names of trees in different languages, why should a tree have so many small leaves instead of one huge leaf?

Roots and Fruits: What are the different kinds of roots? Can we see roots above the ground? What about fruit trees? Discuss the various types of fruit trees and the seasons and places they are grown.

Comments

RANJITHA's picture

fantastic.... this is very useful to all ..... great job

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