ACTIVITY 1 – TREE RINGS
Part 1: Class Discussion – Refer to Teacher Reference
Show the overhead Growth Rings and ask/state:
- What do you think these are? What do you know about them?
- (Tree rings tell a story of what happened in the life of the tree and how old it is.)
- Which tree cookie do you think is the oldest? Why?
- Estimate the age of the 4 tree cookies.
- Now count the rings to determine the real age. Foresters use a tool called an increment
borer to take out thin cores from the inside of the tree. They can then count the tree rings.
- Show "Tree Age" overhead
Note: You may wish to invite a forester to talk about tree growth and demonstrate the increment borer
Part 2: Student Activity – Refer to Teacher Reference
Distribute the tree cookies with one cookie per 2-4 students. Lead an informal discussion to
determine some information about the tree cookies. Sample questions:
- Can you find an area where the rings are close together? Well spaced? Why?
- What kind of tree do you think you have? (Lodgepole Pine)
- Do you see any tree knots? (This is where a branch was attached to the tree.)
- Refer to Tree Growth for more stories - 370Kb PDF
Part 3: Student Activity
Hand out Worksheet “1a” and use the overhead of this page to walk the students through the
- The outer ring is the present year. Count back from this ring to find the ring that represents
the year when you were born.
- Draw a line from that ring to the outside of the cookie and print “my birthday” or draw a
birthday cake. Continue with this exercise using personal experiences.
ACTIVITY 2 – HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Complete prior to Activity 3
Where do your parents work? This response is to cover six main categories – agriculture, tourism,
forest industry, service, manufacturing and other.
- The students take Worksheet “1b” home and have their parents/guardians help them to place
a cross next to the correct category. (Remind students to bring the completed sheet back to
school the following day.)
ACTIVITY 3 – LOCAL INDUSTRY DISCUSSION
- Have the students classify the information from Worksheet “1b” under the following 6
headings you have written on the board: Agriculture, Tourism, Forest Industry, Service,
- Discuss how many people fit into each category… use questions to guide the students
through a look at the major activities that occur in their area.
- For each sector, discuss what you have in your area/community which provides the basis for
these industries. Example: Tourism – the natural environment including trees, lakes,
- Tie in how the natural environment influences human activity.
- Worksheet “1c”. Use the information on the board to create a graph showing the number of
parents employed in the 6 sectors.
Note: In all probability someone should be working in the forest sector or in a forest related field.
(i.e. equipment sales, machine shops, maintenance services, office services…)
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