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Community Forest
Seeing the Forest AND the Tree

A Tree Fund project and partnership between the Foundation of the State Arboretum and Clarke County Public Schools. Third grade classes visited the Arboretum three times throughout the 2014-2015 year and Arboretum staff visited the schools three times. Over that time, we built a year-long tree-focused curriculum that can be used in the classroom and outside in the schoolyard. The project also included two days of teacher professional development where teacher and Blandy educators collaborated to create rich learning experiences for students. 

The following lessons were developed by Blandy Education staff for the project. 
Some activities were developed for use at Blandy; others were developed for use at the schools and include both classroom and outdoor activities. Click Here for a list of Virginia Standards of Learning covered by these lessons.

September Visit
 Tree ID by Leaf
Students study leaves using observation tools and a simply key to identify common trees.
 American Chestnuts
Explore the science and history of America's native Chestnut and examine leaves of native, hybrid, and Chinese chestnuts.
 Investigation Station Estimating and using tools to measure tree height  

December Visit
 Schoolyard Trees in Winter
Examine trees in the schoolyard to learn about the role of trees as habitats.
 Math Schoolyard Trees
Students measure height, perimeter, branch lengths of schoolyard trees then compare and contrast the differences in trees. 
 Making Bird Feeders
Reuse tree products to make a winter time bird feeder. 

January Visit
 Seed to Superlatives
Students develop measuring and comparison skills as they examine tree seeds, seedlings and mature trees.
 Evergreen Tree ID
Use a dicot key to identify evergreen trees and develop observation skills. 
 Build a Tree Journal
Create a title page for students' tree journals, identifying title page and table of contents.

February Visit
Seeds in Different Soils
Design and conduct an experiment to investigate if plants germinate and grow differently in several soil types.
 Using a Tree Guide
Develop use of non-fiction texts to find information on Virginia trees. 
 Water Cycle Journey
Students simulate movement of water through a kinesthetic water cycle game.
 Grapes of Class
Students examine different states of matter and practice measuring skills. 

April Visit 
 Forest Layers
Develop observation, classification, and analysis skills while investigating a native ecosystem. 
 How the Forest Grows
Using tree guides and measuring tools, students examine tree growth. 
Explore diversity of decomposing logs by measuring and analyzing organisms.


In May, our year-long adventure culminated with planting 32 trees at the  Clarke County high school!
Before Tree Planting.....                                    After Tree Planting!