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Lesson #1


Materials Needed

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 following:

  • 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.

Complete prior to Activity 3

Materials Needed


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.)


Materials Needed


  • 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, Manufacturing, Other.
  • 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, animals, etc.
  • 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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