If by the middle of summer there have been fewer friends on the playground, and you are tired of the usual games, go for a walk in the park – but not just like that, but with outlines of lessons for children 3-7 years old. Today’s tasks for a walk in the summer with children are devoted to trees, shrubs and their leaves.
Trees and shrubs: answering questions about why
Have you ever looked at a tree? I mean, looked at him closely? Most probably not. Trees are one of those amazing natural phenomena that we too often take for granted. And yet trees play an important role in our lives, “breathing out” what we breathe in, and providing us with wood for building houses, bridges and boats, for making furniture, artwork, accessories, clothing, paper, etc.
Trees provide people with food, shelter, shade, and more. Do the animals also need them? How do animals depend on trees? Are trees important to where they grow? Select a tree and look at it. Reflect on it with your child.
What does this tree give animals: shade, shelter, food? Maybe it helps them move around? What creatures are using it? Verbally make a list and see how many different representatives of the wildlife you can count. Then break the list down into the following groups:
- animals that live in or on a tree;
- animals that feed on what grows on a tree;
- animals that build something out of wood;
- animals that move through the trees.
You can look at it from a different angle. Think about which animals might somehow depend on certain parts of the tree:
- What animals use tree branches? How? (For example, birds build nests on branches, squirrels run along them.)
- What animals use the tree trunk? How? (For example, woodpeckers search for food and live in a hollow, insects move along it and build hives in it.)
- What animals use leaves? How? (For example, thanks to the leaves, birds can be in the shade, insects serve as food and shelter, and squirrels – materials for the construction of hollows.)
hink about the characteristics that distinguish one tree from another. Examine their height, trunk thickness, bark, leaves and branches. How many different types of trees can you find in your area? Pay attention to their shape and size. Do all trees look the same? How are they similar? What is the difference?
Try this: stand up and pretend to be a tree. Sway like a tree. Now hug the tree! Explore and appreciate nearby trees.
Leaves of trees: which ones do you know?
It’s time to go leaf hunting! Prepare your budding biologist for leaf fun, that is, for the fact that you will study a variety of leaves found in nature. Both of you will not be disappointed.
It’s easy to gasp and gasp while admiring the shape and color of the leaves instead of pondering what task each variety performs. Pale leaves in the desert attract less sunlight. So with the help of the color and shape of their leaves, plants have adapted to the excess of the sun. In addition, desert plants have a wax coating to retain precious moisture, as well as thorns to keep animals that feed on plants away. But in humid and cold climates, the leaves are dark: they absorb more sunlight than light ones.
The shape of the leaves and petals also serves a purpose. Due to the shape of the leaves, some plants can absorb as much sunlight as possible, while others can absorb as much rainwater as possible. Some leaves work like a funnel, delivering water directly to the plant’s roots. In rainy climates, plants have very large leaves. In dry climates, the leaves of plants are very small.
The question of why
What are leaves?
Leaves are as important an organ for plants as the heart is for humans. It is in the leaves that photosynthesis mainly occurs. Photosynthesis is a complex process: the leaf uses sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to produce sugars and starches. As a result, the plant releases oxygen, which is part of the air we breathe.
Explore your area, see what leaves the plants have. Examine their size, shape, color (pale, dark, or somewhere in between), surface (smooth, soft, fluffy or rough).
There are two main types of leaves: reticulate and parallel. In reticulate veins, branched, like in oak leaves. In parallel ones, the veins are directed in one direction, as, for example, in the leaves of corn or tulip. Look for leaves of both types. Which leaves are more?
As you study the leaves, see if you can find signs of animal life on them. Maybe a piece of them was bitten off? Do you see holes in them? Someone’s home? Why could a leaf be useful to animals?
Gather different leaves and dry them between the pages of a thick book. Sort your collection of leaves by size, shape and / or color. Pick up a leaf book from the library and see how many trees you recognize as you collect them. Are leaves on trees and leaves on bushes very different from each other?
Remember, not all plants are harmless: some of them are prickly and even poisonous, touching them can result in scratches, burns and an allergic reaction in the form of redness, rash and swelling. Keep track of which plants your child touches.