The Tree Biodiversity Kit allows student to get hands on, learning about North American tree species and how climate effects tree growth. The kit includes six tree rounds, consisting of oak, basswood, walnut, ash, white pine, and red pine. Magnifying glasses, rulers, and push pins are also included to aid students in making observations about the tree rounds and identifying the individual tree species. Ideal for use in a secondary school Science or Environmental Science class, the kit includes both teacher and student guides that scaffolds students completion of the tree species identification activity. The kit’s focus on both species identification and climate markers means that it would easily fulfil Ontario Curriculum for Grade 9 and 10 Science which requires students to “analyse different sources of scientific data (e.g., lake cores, tree rings, fossils and preserved organisms, ice cores) for evidence of natural climate change and climate change influenced by human activity.”
Teachers and teacher candidates planning lessons about trees and ecology might also be interested in the Conifers of Ontario: Notes for Teachers Identification Keys for Students by W.A. Andrews. Conifers of Ontario offers guidance for designing a conifer tree (commonly know as evergreens) identification activities, book features lessons designed for grade 3-4 students and the grade 10 level. Younger students might benefit from Curriculum Resources books such as Leaf Hunter by Marie-Claire La Flair, A Tree is Growing written by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by S.D. Schindler, and Trees are Terrific! published by the National Wildlife Federation. These works feature information and activities relating to trees, biodiversity, and ecology appropriate for elementary school students.
The Tree Biodiversity Kit is currently on display on the ground floor of the OISE Library next to the service desk. Stop by and try your hand at some tree-rific science!