required: sample tree cookies (can be obtained from the School of the Environment),
crayons or markers, and paper.
activity is appropriate for all ages.
least 15-20 minutes is required for this activity.
This activity is a great way to relate the way that trees grow to the way
children do. Talk about how slow trees grow in comparison. Also, get the
kids to talk about what we need to grow and what a tree needs. What happens
if we don't get what we need? And what would happen to a tree?
Show the kids the tree cookies. It works best if there are several smaller
groups so that the kids can get a good look at them. Talk about the rings
and have the kids figure out how old these particular trees are. Point
out that some rings are wobbly, closer together, broken, etc..., and have
them brainstorm on why this is.
Next, pass out the paper and crayons or markers. Explain that you are going
to make your own tree cookies, based on your lives! Have the kids figure
out how many rings they should have based on how old they are, and talk
about what the rings should look like. For example, if a child broke her
arm when she was 7, her 7th ring should have a crook or break in it, and
if her little sister was born when she was 4, the 4th and 5th rings should
be really close together.
Let them keep their tree representations, or keep them for a scrap book!