Lesson Plan : Identifying Trees by Leaves

Teacher Name:
 Christina Cat
Grade:
 Grade 5
Subject:
 Science

Topic:
 Tree Identification
Goals:
 Students will be able to recognize common trees by sight and gain a familiarity with the resources and procedures to tree identification for unknown species. Awareness of other methods of tree identification such as bark, fruit and location.
Objectives:
 Identify species of 7 actual leaves at sight. Identify species of 5 trees given picture of complete tree. Demonstrate use of field guide and identification websites to attempt to identify a species that was not covered in class. Student will be given picture overview of entire tree, either actual leaves and fruit or detailed photographs. Identification need not be exact match, but all relavant catagories of identification must match (leave shape/size, bark, fruit, ect).
Materials:
 fresh picked leaves, preserved leaves, poster with leaves of North American leaves, several copies of Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs. Computer set with pictures/links to pictures of trees and leaves.
Introduction:
 Have students bring in one or more leaves from trees by their homes.
Development:
 Display/pass around leaves of the 7 chosen trees to focus on, that include several broad types of deciduous and evergreen trees. Discuss the ways to identify leaves (lobed, toothed, shapes, arrangements). Demonstrate how to find a type of leaf in Field Guide and use that to narrow search to species of tree.
Practice:
 Have an easily recognizable, common example, and one less recognizable (non-local), identifying characteristics to find the species, using Field Guide or computer sites. Pair details of leaves with pictures of entire trees. List on board of the species covered in demonstration, have students bring leaves & tree pictures up to attach to board next to the names.
Checking For Understanding:
 Hold up samples of leaves/pictures of trees, asking class at large for identification of tree, and characters of the leaf that could be used to identify.
Closure:
 Discussed planned field trip in future weeks and the kinds of trees that can be found during it.
Evaluation:
 Pass out charts with pictures of leaves & trees covered, have students fill in the names. Also have pictures of a tree not covered in class, have students find it (or closely related) in Field Guide, and list which characters used to make the match.

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