Classifying Trees
    While Walking Through the Plant Kingdom



Essential Understanding
Properties distinguish living and nonliving things.

As you are walking...

Introduction
Task
 Procedure
Evaluation
Conclusion
Program Outcomes and Indicators
Resources

Introduction



    The Science department has invited you to participate in its annual Name Those Trees Contest.As a participant in this contest your goal will be to correctly classify trees into one of two groups, deciduous trees or coniferous/evergreens trees.

     The winner of this contest will receive a tree of their choice to be planted in their yard and will be featured in an article in our school newspaper.This article will inform its readers about your outstanding scientific achievement.


The Task

While performing this task we will become botanists, scientists, who study plants.We will take a walk through the plant kingdom to learn about the largest plants found there,trees.You will work with a partner to complete the following tasks.


Back to The Task

Procedure

You will be performing a task by following the directions below.

1.  You are now an official botanist ready to begin
      a study on tree classification.



Today's Scientific Problem/Question is:
Can you identify trees and group them while observing and comparing their characteristics using tree links found on the web?


2. Print data sheet entitled, A Tree Investigation by
    clicking on the button below to record your hypothesis
    to today's question.
Print Data Sheet #1
3.Click on the Clues button to read a list of questions. These questions will help you identify the two tree groups.
 Clues

4.  On the bottom of your printed data sheet #1, A
    Tree Investigation, list the two clues you have chosen
      to use while identifying tree groups.


Ready to Explore?
Let's take a walk in the plant kingdom.


5.Observing Coniferous/Evergreen Trees

     a.Click on each tree name in the green box below to see   examples showing coniferous/evergreen trees.

    b. Observe all picture examples on this page carefully to
        discover describing characteristics of this group.

   Examples of Coniferous/Evergreen Trees

Eastern Red Cedar Shortleaf Pine
Austrian Pine Blue Spruce
Ashe Juniper Douglas Fir
White Fir Fraser Fir


    c.Print and complete the Characteristics of
    Coniferous/Evergreen Trees, Data Sheet #2.

      (Be sure to go back to the websites to review information.)

Print Data Sheet #2



6. Observing Deciduous Trees

     There are two parts in this step:

        a. Click on each tree name in the green box below
         to see examples showing deciduous trees.

       Observe all picture examples on this page carefully
        to discover describing characteristics.


   Examples of Deciduous Trees

Box Elder Flowering Dogwood
Southern Magnolia Tree-of-Heaven
Black Hickory Yaupon Holly
Bur Oak Silver Maple
Cedar Elm Willow Oak

     b. Print and complete the Characteristics of Deciduous
      Trees, Data Sheet #3.

Print Data Sheet #3

7.  Comparing Two Groups of Trees
You have looked at examples of two groups of  trees, the deciduous and the coniferous trees.
     Print and complete the Data Sheet #4 entitled,
     Comparing Two Groups of Trees.

Print Data Sheet #4

8. Using your rubric and information from the organizers
      about the two tree groups, design and create a
     Tree Taxonomy Guide.

9.   Use your taxonomy to assist you while identifying trees  during the Name Those Trees Contest.


Reread Steps

 


Evaluation

You will be evaluated on each of the following criteria:

1.  completed data sheets

2.   completed pages included in your Tree Taxonomy
     Guide:

       1.  informing Coniferous Trees page
      2.  coniferous leaf examples
      3.  informing Deciduous Trees page
      4.  deciduous leaf examples
      5.  informing page telling about your Tree
        Group Preference
 

Your taxonomy guide will be graded on an individual basis.


Evaluation Criteria


Conclusion

Congratulations!  Now you are ready to use your Tree Taxonomy Guide to help you as you observe, identify and classify trees on our school playground during the Name Those Trees Contest. Good luck.


Back to Top 

 


Resources

Plan a field trip to London Town and Gardens, Eastport, Maryland  to explore and perform related tree activities.

Plan a field trip to Carrie Weedon Science Center Site, Galesville, Maryland to use lab resources available while performing related activities.

Have students visit Kid's Treehouse, a Fun Stuff site with tree activities.
 

Bibliography:
http://kbs.msu.edu/volunt/tour/tree7.htm
http://kbs.msu.edu/volunt/tour/tree12.htm
www.eecs.umich.edu/mathscience/funexperiments/agesubject/lessons/
arb/livingtree.htm
www.noble.org.
http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/dendrohome.htm
http://botany.about.com/science/botany/gi/dynamic/offsiste.htm
 
 

Back


Taxonomy Rubric


Section 1
A Table of Contents Page
  • a title 
  • coniferous tree page 
  • deciduous tree page 
  • a preference tree group page 
4 POINT FOR THIS PAGE
  • one point for each bullet 

Section 2
An informing Coniferous Tree
Page
  • a title 
  • three details to tell about this tree group 
  • an illustration to show an example of this tree group 
5 POINTS TOTAL FOR THIS PAGE
  • one point for the title and one point for the illustration 
  • one point for each leaf 
Section 3
Coniferous Leaf example pages
  • three different leaves to show this tree group. 
3 POINTS TOTAL FOR THIS PAGE
  • one point for each leaf 
Section 4
An informing Deciduous Trees Page
  • a title 
  • three details to tell about this tree group 
  • an illustration to show an example of this tree group 
5 POINTS TOTAL FOR THIS PAGE
  • one point for title  
  • one point for illustration 
  • one point for each detail given 
Section 5
Deciduous Leaf
examples pages
  • three different leaves to show this tree group 
3 POINTS TOTAL FOR THIS PAGE
  • one point for each leaf 

Section 6
My Tree Group Preference
  • a title 
  • tells which tree group you prefer 
  • tells three details about this group 
  • includes an illustration to show an example of a tree you would like to win during the contest 
6 POINTS TOTAL FOR THIS PAGE
  • one point for title 
  • one point for naming a preferred tree 
  • one point for including an illustration 
  • one point for each detail given 

Appearance of  Taxonomy
  use 3 graphic tools of  an author  5 POINTS TOTAL
Correct Spelling and Neatness  uses resources to spell - computer text, 
 worksheets, and dictionaries
5 POINTS TOTAL
36 TOTAL POINTS FOR TAXONOMY 
Review Evaluation Steps

Technology Outcomes and Indicators
Students will be able to use computers and related technologies to: Science MLO
3.3.6 Students will explain that all living things can be compared based on similarities and differnces.


Created by: Sally Taylor
Last Update August 2002
Recommended for Grade 3