Plant 2 Trees Project Overview and Resources NSTA Oct.2015

October 20, 2015 at 12:21 PM Leave a comment

The Photo Montage from 2014-15 P2Trees students at Orinda Intermediate School!

NSTA P2Trees Presentation ppt

Day 1: Why Write Grants? Info/Inspiration

Grant proposals introduced with “Kickstarter” video clips  – how to make your own dream job!

What are the Benefits of Trees?

We used desk top whiteboards for students to brainstorm on. We used that to generate categories of pros and cons of trees.

  • Benefits to wild life
  • Benefits to Climate
  • Benefits to soil
  • Psychological benefits
  • Products for people inc. fruit and nuts
  • Benefits of native vs non-native species
  • Cons of trees – dangers and nuisances.

For each of these categories, we made a foam board bulletin board and put one at each desk. Students could then re-seat themselves nearest to the one they were interested in.

Day 2: Pros and cons of trees ONLINE research:

Students did online research and used a template to share their research on each of the foam boards from yesterday.  Here are some of the things our students came up with from their online research:

  • Benefits to wild life
    • Shelter for animals
    • Increases number of bug and plant species
    • Bees, trees and benefits
  • Benefits to climate
    • Effects of CO2
    • Shade and cooling
    • How much CO2 does the average car produce?
    • How much CO2 does the average tree take in?
  • Benefits to soil
    • Prevents erosion
    • Retains water in soil
    • Effects on soil fertility
  • Psychological Benefits
    • Effect on learning
    • Effect on mood
    • Effect on health
  • Products for people
    • What fruit trees could work at OIS?
      • In the East Bay climate and soil?
      • Fruiting season during school year?
      • Not a nuisance around school ex. Projectiles, mess?
    • Dangers and nuisances
      • Leaf litter and slipping.
      • Brank and tree fall
      • Roots cracking buildings and asphalt
      • Roots in drains
      • Pollen and allergies
      • Stinging insects.
    • Benefits of natives vs non-native trees
      • Exotics, introduced species and invasive species.

Day 3: PLANNING Outside Research at OIS in logbooks.

Some of the benefits of trees could be investigated by some outside field work:

  • Benefits to climate needs thermometers (cooling effect) and BTW + stoppered bottles or conical flasks to see which species of leaf can extract CO2 the fastest. (Blow into the BTB + 75ml water until it goes yellow, then let the leaves and control sit for about a day on the window sill. Btw, willow seemed to do the best for us.)
  • Benefits to soil: we ordered a $25 Soil Analyzer for pH and fertility from Erosion groups need watering cans (or hoses). Infiltration groups need watering cans.

Day 4: Outside Research Day 1

Record data in log books.

Day 5: Outside Research Day 2

Write up short Data/Evidence, Conclusion and what we’d do better (half page). (See sheet).

Day 6: Each class to choose 4 ranked LOCATIONS

  1. Hand in Data/Evidence/Conclusion slips.
  2. Cons of Trees group to present cautions from online, and own research.
  3. Constraints you/the school have for locations. For example, we will require each class with trees close to each other really helps class management. We also wish we had insisted on locations nearer to the classroom – it takes too long to water the trees at the other end of the school.
  4. Go to Map app. Find OIS. We also had a printed version.
  5. Each table decides on 8 good locations. Write on index cards.
  6. Rank on desktop whiteboards.
  7. Write pros and cons on whiteboard.
  8. Circulate to see others.
  9. Gather round front. Rank and reason the top 4 ideas for the class.

Day 7: Each class to choose TREE SPECIES for each location.

  1. Collect your graded Data/Evidence/Conclusion slips. Put up on the correct bulletin board.
  2. Products for People (Fruits J) and Natives vs Non-Natives groups to present their evidence.
  3. Each table to decide what tree species they would plant in which of the 4 locations using small whiteboards at the front of class, Line up from ‘Favorite’ to #4. See what is in common. Reach consensus with a rank and reason discussion.
  4. Each class to submit a card with top 4 locations + tree species ranked.
  5. Lunchtime pull out of a hat spectacle under the tree near the kennel?

Lunchtime, Day 8: Fair assignment of 2 trees + 1 location for each class.

  • Put all cards in a box from all 7th grade classes.
  • Pick a random card. They get their first and second choice.
  • Pick the next card. They get their first and second choice IF still available. If not, they get the next ones down.
  • Continue until all classes have been assigned a location for their two trees.

Day 9: Start research into price, planting and care of saplings. Consider consulting with a local plant nursery – they will know what species will work in your local area AND how to plant them successfully.

Day 10: Introduce and start the Grant Proposal.

  • Get research notes together (see the bulletin boards!)
  • Find or create a labeled graphic of some kind.
  • Start writing.

Day 11: Grant writing workshop

Day 12: (maybe after a weekend etc.) Grant Deadline.

Early finishers to make a slide show to show the general benefits of trees, the specific trees our class is proposing, the specific locations, the way in which we propose to plant it.

Day 13: Present to Principal and/or Parents Club Presidents.

Day 14: Decision day and Planning:

  1. Schedule buying and procuring of equipment, saplings and day to plant.
  1. In addition to the saplings, we purchased fertilizer, gopher small gauge chicken wire baskets to protect the root balls, netting and 6ft sticks to hold the netting. Consider if netting is needed to protect against deer. We already had 4 large spades.

2 Planting days!

  1. When tree saplings arrive, have nursery staff show you so you can show students how to plant trees successfully.
  2. We took one day for students to dig holes. We had students switch out every 5 minutes so everyone got a turn digging. Specify the size and depth of the hole to be dug, and provide meter sticks.
  3. The second day was to spread the roots, add in fertilizer, put the root ball into the wire gopher cage, fill with dirt, pack it down lightly and water it in. Make a ‘moat’ wall of soil around each to keep water near to the trunk and reduce runoff.
  4. We put up three sticks and used a stapler to fasten the lightweight netting around each tree. We made sure there was about 2 inches clearance so that snakes don’t get caught in the netting.

Watering, Maintenance and Recording Data:

  1. Each week, we had students visit their trees, water them, photograph them, measure them and make note of any changes they saw. We had to repair netting, re-do the sticks etc.
  1. After the rainy season, most saplings need to be watered at least once a week with a couple of cans of water, over their first summer. We set up a watering schedule for students before the end of the school year and used school loop to remind students during the summer. But it would be better to work with the grounds staff for summer watering as we ended up having to do it ourselves with a golf cart and giant garbage cans of water.
  1. The next school year, the new classes take over caring for last year’s trees, in preparation for the second year of the Plant 2 Trees Project. This is the last year or our whole campus would be a forest.




Entry filed under: Environmental Education, Plant 2 Trees Project, Project Based Learning, PROJECTS, Research Skills. Tags: , , , , , , .

The nuts and bolts of connecting the science to solar oven design The Re-Wilding Project Begins!

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