Nov. 28th 2020 - Dec. 6th 2020
Have you heard of National Tree Week? No? Don’t worry, quite a few people haven’t! National Tree Week is celebrated at the end of November and goes into the first week of December. It was created to mark the start of winter, which is tree-planting season. It can also be implemented to develop children’s understanding of the world around them.
You may not be able to plant a tree with your students...but National Tree Week is a great reason to take a trip outdoors and allow children to admire the trees in their environment! Instead of having Circle Time indoors, why not have Circle Time outside? Make sure they take their magnifying glasses with them to get a real, good look at the trees – that will enhance their exploring experience! Clipboards are a great idea to bring along too, and encourage mark-making at suitable opportunities.
During Circle Time, explain the importance of trees and how they help the world around us. Children are usually fascinated by nature, and once you have sparked their interest in the many benefits of trees, play a fun listening game. Ask the children to be silent for 10 seconds and then jot down the ideas of what they say they can hear around them. Encourage turn-taking so that every child’s ideas are heard. (This is a good pick for their World, Listening and Attention, Social Development ✅)
National Tree Week is a wonderful way to introduce or re-cap seasons and the weather. At this time of year, the trees are the most interesting because they have changed colour; it’s the perfect time to get children to notice this. You can explain why there are so many leaves on the ground. If the children aren’t already aware of the seasons then you should definitely use this week to discuss autumn. You can also discuss the other seasons and how the trees change according to the season. This provides the opportunity to assess children’s knowledge of the different colours and also introduce new language: ‘bare’ (trees), ‘bark’, ‘roots’, ‘branches’, etc. (The World, Communication and Language ✅).
To bring this new knowledge together, give the children Tree Challenges throughout the week. They will be motivated to attempt a Tree Challenge if there is some sort of reward. As the season of Christmas is soon approaching, try having a Christmas Tree at your setting. A possible reward could be allowing the children to place a decoration on the setting’s Christmas Tree (you can even have a virtual tree) for those that complete all of the challenges.
Some challenge questions:
Can you make a Winter Tree (like this)? This needs: glue sticks, cotton buds, white paint and coloured paper.
Can you make an Autumn Tree (like this)? This needs: a tree template printed on paper, tweezers, pom poms, red paint, orange paint, green paint and yellow paint.
Can you make a Summer Tree (like this)? This needs: sticks, glue, leaves
Can you make a Spring Tree (like this)? This needs: bark, brown paint, green paint, a loofah, pink tissue paper, glue, coloured paper.