Author:
MSDE Admin, Bruce Riegel, Amy Tubman, Melinda Wilson, Kathleen Hogan, Gwen Lewis, Marcella Brown, Jessica J. Reinhard, Kathleen Gregory, Heidi Strite, Margaret Lee
Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Lower Primary
Grade:
2
Tags:
MSDE, MSDE GT, Primary Talent Development, Prinary, Talent Development, Trees
License:
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Graphics/Photos, Video, Other

Education Standards (28)

Second Grade: Tremendous Trees

Lesson Overview

The purpose of Tremendous Trees or Tree-mendous Trees, as it is sometimes called, is to encourage students to use inquisitive and creative behavior, to think like a scientist. The module extends the Essential Strategies of Attributes and Questioning that were introduced in Kindergarten and First Grade. Students use questions to approach problems and identify attributes to sort, classify, and make inferences to create analogies on observational data about our world. This module is meant for all students. The classroom teacher should work with a specialist or special educator to find or develop alternate activities or resources for visually impaired students, where appropriate.

Task 1: Lesson 1: Brainstorming

STANDARDS:

SL.2.1  Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL 2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media (Divergent Questioning Model).

W.2.8  Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question

4.A.2a Explain the production process. a. Identify the natural, capital, and human resources used in the production of a good or service.

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking questions and defining problems. Define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

MD STEM Practices 5. Engage in logical reasoning. C. Apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content to construct creative and innovative ideas.

ENGAGEMENT:
To build prior knowledge about trees and tree products, students will watch a 3-minute video clip Technology Resource (TR)1 More Trees Please. Encourage students to list products that come from trees. Have students create this list (take notes) on a piece of paper while they are watching the video.  Share responses to create a class chart entitled “Tree Products.” Save the “Tree Products” chart to use throughout the module.

EXPLORATION:
Divide students into small groups. Present each small group with a “Discovery Tray." Ask students to sort the products by an attribute (color, shape, size or kind.) If you do not have the items available (leaves, twigs, tea bags, rubber duck, chewing gum, paper, pencil, coffee beans, chocolate, juice box or piece of fruit, cardboard box lid) consider making a sort using pictures. Use RS2B Discovery Tray Picture Sort. Have the small groups sort the pictures by attributes.  

EXPLANATION:
Have each group share how they have sorted the products. Allow for class discussion and encourage students to define the collection as products of trees.


EXTENSION:
Have student pairs complete printed copies of TR2 Tree‐mendous Products by matching the tree product cards to the related part of the tree. (This activity is not an appropriate opportunity for creative behaviors to be observed or documented, but it is an excellent time to observe and document inquisitive behaviors.) 

Discovery Tray:

Tree ProductRelated Part of Tree Where Product is Found
maple syrupsap
chewing gumsap
furniturelimbs
cardboard trunk
papertrunk
pencilbranches
Juice box or piece of fruitfruit
coffeefruit/nuts
rubber ducksap

EVALUATION:
Share RS2 Tree Product Brainstorm. Review the rules of brainstorming learned in the first-grade module, Design Dilemma. Refer to RS 3 Brainstorming Poster. Students will brainstorm a list of uses for one of the products of trees using RS 2. Guide and support students’ efforts while capturing creative comments on the students’ resource sheets. Use clarifying questions to understand the students’ explanation of the attributes of the tree product. Ask how these attributes helped the student to put the product to a new use. Apply the REPI Developmental Continuum for creative behaviors directly to RS2 Tree Product Brainstorm. Attach the artifact to the Second Grade Portfolio Summary.  

Use the REPI Rubric below to guide documentation on student artifacts. 

REPI Developmental Continuum for Creative Behaviors

Scenario: When asked to create a new use for the tree product, the student…

 

Creative Descriptors

Creative Examples

Readiness

Explores materials and ideas freely

uses the tree products without changing their attributes and in an expected way; for example, “I can draw with a pencil.”

Emergent

Expands on materials/ideas and adds details

uses the products for something other than its intended use but without changing the attributes. A pencil could be used as a chopstick, coffee stirrer, to hold up your hair, or as knitting needles.

Progressing

Uses flexibility to view materials and ideas in new and unusual ways

finds a unique way to use the product; for example, a pencil could be a robot’s finger, the telephone pole in a miniature village, or a drawer pull.

Independent

Synthesizes materials/ideas to create original uses and relationships

finds a way to combine two or more tree products, perhaps altering attributes, to create something new, such as gum used to stick a juice box with the top cut off as a mini mailbox on a desk.

 

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Task 2: Lesson 2: Journal Observations

STANDARDS:

RI.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate an understanding of key details in a text.

SL.2.1  Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL 2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

W.2.8  Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

2-LS4-1  Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.[Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include specific animal and plant names in specific habitats.]

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering). Ask questions based on observations to find more information about the natural and/or designed world(s). 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations-to answer questions or test solutions to problems in K–2. This builds on prior experiences and progresses to simple investigations, based on fair tests, which provide data to support explanations or design solutions. Make observations (firsthand or from media) to collect data which can be used to make comparisons. 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Record information (observations, thoughts, and ideas).  Use and share pictures, drawings, and/or writings of observations.

MD STEM Practices 4. Engage in inquiry.

ENGAGEMENT:
Post the question on the board or overhead and ask students to think about their responses: How is a scientist like a spy? Allow students time to think‐pair‐share their responses.

EXPLORATION:
Watch TR3 Wildlife Watching PowerPoint (See Resources) to identify habits that allow a scientist/spy to be a successful observer. Pause to discuss during the presentation.
Possible responses might be:
 Observe at different times of the day.
 Look for wildlife everywhere like under rocks and dead bark.
 Use all of your senses.
 Look for animal signs like tracks.
 Let an adult know where you are going.
 Take a magnifying glass.
 Remember that you are a guest in the habitat, so walk
quietly and don’t chase or frighten animals and insects.

EXPLANATION:
Display RS4A-F Divergent Questioning Posters (See Resources). Divergent questioning was introduced in the first-grade module Design Dilemma. Explain that these divergent questions have more than one right answer (open‐ended). Encourage students to use open‐ended questions as they write their own questions about trees.

Students will use journals to observe the tree habitat and to formulate questions they have about their tree. For example, “How did these leaves change color?” Students will write or illustrate their observations in their RS3A Outdoor Journal. They will also be recording their questions about trees in the journal. Forming open‐ended questions will allow students to exhibit inquisitive behaviors.

Prepare an Observation Kit in a baggie with a hand lens, glove, small collection bag, small shovel or “probe," that each student can take outside as they “observe” trees and write in journals to help them feel and act as scientists. Distribute Observation Kits and Outdoor Journals. Discuss the uses of the tools briefly and visit the tree habitat. The first observation should be about 10 minutes. Provide a clipboard for a hard surface under the Outdoor Journal. As students become more adept at making journal observations, the time may be extended.

EXTENSION:
Upon returning to the classroom, share a few student responses orally in a small group, with a partner, or on the board whole group. This will allow students to see what others have observed. Invite students to model appropriate questions that they have written.
 

EVALUATION:
Take anecdotal notes on observed inquisitive behaviors based on students’ questions about the tree habitat in the Outdoor Journal. Document the REPI Developmental Continuum for inquisitive learning behaviors directly on the Outdoor Journal. Attach the Outdoor Journal artifact directly to the Second Grade Summary Portfolio.  

Use the Rubric below as a guide when documenting inquisitive learning behaviors.

REPI Developmental Continuum for Inquisitive Behaviors

Scenario: When asked to create a question about a tree habitat, the student asked…

 

Inquisitive Descriptors

Inquisitive Examples

Readiness

Asks questions on topics of interest

“How tall is the tree?”

Emergent

Demonstrates curiosity and actively seeks new answers

“What kind of tree is this?”

Progressing

Asks complete questions to initiate investigations

"What makes leaves change color?”

Independent

Asks complete questions to explore, test, and evaluate sustained investigations

"What made there be more branches at the top of the tree?”

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Task 3: Lesson 3: A Tree Community

STANDARDS:

2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.  (Clarification:  Emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.)   (Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include specific animal and plant names in specific habitats.)  

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering). Ask questions based on observations to find more information about the natural and/or designed world(s). 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Record information (observations, thoughts, and ideas).  Use and share pictures, drawings, and/or writings of observations.

MD STEM Practices 4. Engage in inquiry

RL.2.6 Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.

SL.2.1  Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL 2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

SL.2.6 Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

W.2.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).

C-3 D2.Civ.10.K-2. Compare their own point of view with others’ perspectives.

MD-PD2.6.Civ.B.4  Compare their own point of view with others’ perspectives.

ENGAGEMENT:
Share with the students the following definition of a community: A community is made up of living things living and working together in the same environment. Discuss what members live in a tree community. (Possible responses: ants, caterpillars, leaves, branches, tree, bark)

EXPLORATION:
Tell students that as the tree is observed today, they will think divergently. Refer to the point of view question on the TT RS4 A-F Divergent Questioning Poster. They will either observe their tree through the “eyes” of one of the “members” of the tree community or observe it through the eyes of the “tree” itself. In addition to recording observations, ask students to record questions they have about how the tree serves them in their new role. For example, a squirrel might ask the tree, “How many acorns will you give me this fall?

Before Going outside, students will indicate their viewpoint by completing this sentence on TT RS6A My Perfect Tree.   (Possible responses: ant, caterpillar, leaf, branch, tree, bark.) 

I am pretending to be a ______________________________.

 

Students will observe their trees and record observations and questions. Allow 10-15 minutes for observations.  Apply the REPI Rubric below for inquisitive behaviors and attach the artifact to the Second Grade Portfolio Summary.  Possible journal entries:

The viewpoint of an ant

Observation - The tree looks enormous from down here. Question - How long will it take to climb to the top?

Observation - The bark has lots of ridges. Question - I wonder if I could hide in the ridges?

*This is the suggested stopping point if the lesson is presented in two segments.*

EXPLANATION:
Read the book The Gift of a Tree to build background knowledge about tree communities. Discuss the information shared and connect it to their observations.

EXTENSION:
Display a T‐chart on the board.  Encourage students to make comparisons between our community and the tree community. Provide the prompts in the left column to facilitate the discussion. Some possible responses are as follows:

How is a tree like a community?

Our community has...A tree community has...
homesnest or rotting log
restaurantsleaves, fruits, nuts, and seeds
community helpers-policebee guarding honey
street cleanerstermites eating dead wood
farmersbirds or animals with fur carry seeds to new places

EVALUATION:
Students will use TT RS 6 My Perfect Tree to design an imaginary tree. Students will pretend to be a member of the tree community. From the viewpoint of the tree community member, students will create the perfect tree. For example, the student might create a tree that has the attributes of an amusement park for a squirrel. Use RS6 to observe creative behaviors and apply the REPI Developmental Continuum.

Use the following rubric as a guide to REPI TT RS 6.  Record the REPI on TT RS 6 and attach the two sheets as artifacts to the Second Grade Portfolio Summary.

REPI Developmental Continuum for Inquisitive Behaviors

Scenario: When pretending to be a member of a tree community, the student asked…

 

Inquisitive Descriptors

Inquisitive Examples

Readiness

Asks questions on topics of interest

“What kind of tree am I on?”

Emergent

Demonstrates curiosity and actively seeks new answers

“How long will it take to climb to the top of the tree?”

Progressing

Asks complete questions to initiate investigations

“Will this tree provide me with food in the winter?”

Independent

Asks complete questions to explore, test, and evaluate sustained investigations

“What needs would this tree provide for me if it died?”

 

REPI Developmental Continuum for Creative Behaviors (SAMPLE for Squirrel)

Scenario: When pretending to be a squirrel, the student draws an ideal tree that…

 

Creative Descriptors

Creative Examples

Readiness

Explores materials and ideas freely

grows nuts or fruits.

Emergent

Expands on materials/ideas and adds details

grows nuts and fruits and labels how the tree meets a basic need.

Progressing

Uses flexibility to view materials and ideas in new and unusual ways

includes details that show the ability to think like a squirrel and elaborates on how the tree serves the community members by providing for its wants and needs.

Independent

Synthesizes materials/ideas to create original uses and relationships

shows additional details to create a unique perspective not discussed by the class that shows the concept of a tree as a whole. (For example, shows the tree as an amusement park for squirrels.)

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Task 4: Lesson 4: Tree Analogies

STANDARDS:

RL.2.4 RL.2.4 Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

RL.2.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

SL.2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

L.2.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

L.2.5 Demonstrate an understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

L.2.6 Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy.)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices 2. Developing and Using Models (analogies). Compare models to identify common features and differences.  Develop and/or use a model to represent amounts, relationships, relative scales (bigger, smaller), and/or patterns in the natural and designed world(s).

EXPLORATION: ENGAGEMENT:
On their own or in small groups, have students answer the question “How is a tree like a horse?” Refer to RS 4 A-F Divergent Questioning: Forced Association. Encourage the students to share their answers and to piggyback on other students’ responses. These responses could be recorded and used as evidence of creativity. Use the same process to discuss “How is a tree like a road?”

Share the poems “Tree Horse” and “Tree Traffic” from the book, Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O’Connell George. Share both the text and illustrations. You can find the complete book being read on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCuetqHhtoo.

EXPLANATION:
Discuss how the author of these poems compared two things which initially do not appear to be alike, such as trees and horses and branches and roads. Elicit the ways that the illustrations support the text and comparisons. Ask students to think‐pair‐share thoughts on the questions:

  • How does this comparison affect your thoughts and feelings about trees?
  • How does the comparison help you to see trees in a new way?                    

*The author wants us to understand that trees do more than just provide us with shelter and food. She wants us to feel empathy for and a greater appreciation of trees as members of our community.

Help the students to see that the author is comparing objects by their attributes. Students may benefit from a discussion about comparing attributes of form (how things look or feel) and function (comparing what they do or how they are used.) Create sentence strips to use in a pocket chart to model making analogies. Write an explanation for the analogy on a sentence strip. Invite a student to model the next analogy and explain the comparison.

Tree Part

(Card 1)

Represents

(Card 2)

Attribute

(Sentence Strip)

branch

leaves

horse

mane

can be ridden

blow in wind

EXTENSION:
Students will play the Tree‐Analogy card game. Copy RS 7 B-C Tree‐Analogy Cards, onto 1 x 4 inch Avery (5162) mailing labels. Attach labels to index cards (pink and green, if possible.) Place cards and RS7A Tree-Analogy Directions in a baggie and label Tree-Analogy Cards.  Provide each pair of students with one set of cards and directions in the baggie. Tell the students that they will be playing a tree analogy card game. Discuss the directions as a class. Explain that there will be two rows of cards spread out on the desk or floor. Model for the students how to choose pairs of words and how to explain the analogy.

Tree Community

(Card 1)

People Community

(Card 2)

What do they have in common?

(Discussion)

branchroadcreatures move along it
squirrelcommuterhurry to get somewhere

Circulate around the room with a clipboard to answer questions and encourage the creation of original analogies. Interview student pairs to capture creative ideas. Be sure to determine which student completed the analogy. Encourage ideas that may be unusual matches and well-developed explanations about what the items have in common. Apply the REPI Rubric and document creative behaviors on RS 1 or the optional Anecdotal Notes Sheet.

REPI Developmental Continuum for Creative Behaviors

Scenario: When asked to create a tree analogy, the student is…

 

Creative Descriptors

Creative Examples

Readiness

Explores materials and ideas freely

given the card “squirrel,” the student puts down “car,” but is unable to explain how the two are alike.

Emergent

Expands on materials/ideas and adds details

given the card “squirrel,” the student puts down “car,” and says, “They both move.”

Progressing

Uses flexibility to view materials and ideas in new and unusual ways

given the card “squirrel,” the student puts down “farmer,” and says, “The squirrel buries acorns in the ground like the farmer plants seeds.”

Independent

Synthesizes materials/ideas to create original uses and relationships

given the card “squirrel,” the student sees a relationship that is abstract or rare in the class, perhaps using a wild card. “The squirrel is like a bandit who hides his loot and comes back for it later.”

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Task 5: Transfer Task

STANDARDS: 

W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points and provide a concluding statement or section.

W.2.3 Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering).  4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data.

MD STEM Practices 3. Interpret and Communicate Information from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

PROCEDURE:

  • In this activity, students apply what they know about trees by creating a product to solve a problem. A Bridging Final Product Menu is available as a resource.
  • Allow class time for students to create their products. Consider collaborating with the media, technology, art, or music teacher to expand upon product ideas.
  • Read RS10 A-B Tremendous Trees Bridging Experience, Resource Sheet as a class.
  • The Divergent Questioning Model may be a useful tool for students who are having difficulty developing questions; however, they should not feel limited to following this model. 
  • Capture anecdotal notes on inquisitive behaviors while students complete Part A of the Bridging Experience. The remaining process and final product provide opportunities to observe creative behaviors. Use RS10a-b as an artifact and attach Part A of the Bridging Experience to the PTD 2nd Grade PTD Portfolio Summary.  Have students complete Part B with notes for their product.  Consider using Part C and the product or a photo of the product labeled with the REPI code to capture creative and inquisitive behaviors.
  • Share finished products with a selected audience. For example, display at a parent night, the media center, or hallway.
  • Continue to develop inquisitive and creative behaviors across subject areas.
  • Teachers often find it difficult to “teach” some of this, so we created the possible DQM response sheet to assist (see resources).  We’ve even suggested that you flip the game, TR3Tree-Pardy, as a form of differentiation, give the response examples, and have students come up with the overarching DQM question. Try it and see how it works for you.

Use this Rubric as a guide to REPI student learning behaviors and document those behaviors on RS10 A-B Tremendous Trees Bridging Experience and on the product the student created.

REPI Developmental Continuum for Inquisitive Behaviors

Scenario: When completing Part A, What do you Wonder, the student…

 

Inquisitive Descriptors

Inquisitive Examples

Readiness

Asks questions on topics of interest

gives a basic response to the prompt by asking something like, “Where will the animals live?”

Emergent

Demonstrates curiosity and actively seeks new answers

offers a few examples of how the lack of trees would affect our world by asking things like, “What will we build houses out of?” or “Will we still be able to make paper?”

Progressing

Asks complete questions to initiate investigations

asks higher-lever questions to initiate an investigation by asking things like, “What happened to cause the trees to disappear?” “Did they all die?” “Were they all cut down?”

Independent

Asks complete questions to explore, test, and evaluate sustained investigations

offers multiple examples of how the lack of trees would affect our world and offers solutions like  “What happened to cause the trees to disappear?” “Did they all die?” “Were they all cut down?” “What can we do to make sure this never happens again?” “How can we convince people to help?”

REPI Developmental Continuum for Creative Behaviors

Scenario: When completing Part C-How will you present your message, the student…

 

Creative Descriptors

Creative Examples

Readiness

Explores materials and ideas freely

addresses the problem in a concrete way on a simple poster. For example: “You should stop cutting down trees.”

Emergent

Expands on materials/ideas and adds details

addresses the problem in a concrete way in a product with little elaboration. For example, “You should stop cutting down trees because…”

Progressing

Uses flexibility to view materials and ideas in new and unusual ways

creates a message and product that shows originality and elaboration with multiple reasons why we need trees. For Example, the student creates a cartoon showing various animals, each giving an example of how it would be affected by the lack of trees. There is a clear message that the whole community is affected.

Independent

Synthesizes materials/ideas to create original uses and relationships

given the card “squirrel,” the student sees a relationship that is abstract or rare in the class, perhaps using a wild card. “The squirrel is like a bandit who hides his loot and comes back for it later.”

.