Capturing & Detailing Science Observations
Close, Closer. Closest
This activity helps students to hone their observation skills. Each student is required to sketch and write down five observations about a leaf and the bark of a tree from three different perspectives. The first perspective is with their naked eye. The second perspective is with a hand lens (magnification 10x). The last perspective is with a pocket microscope (magnification 30x). This is a great activity for students to start the year with all their notes and sketches being included in a science laboratory notebook or on the attached handout.
This activity requires students to create detailed sketches and practice writing detailed descriptive captions under each sketch.
Scientific Observation and Photojournalism
Students explore how detailed observations and creative thinking aid scientific research by closely observing their environment using digital photography and art. Students will detail their observations, identify, research their subject and incorporate their findings into writing scientific captions and creating artwork.
How Old is Your Tree?
Students determine the age of a tree by counting the rings on a “tree cookie” or a increment bores obtained from your local forester. When using increment bores students will need pins, graph paper and a hand lens to make sure they are measuring accurately. Once the age of the tree is determined the students and then graph the tree’s growth rate by starting from the pith and measuring each passing year.
Incorporate mathematics into your science class by having students collect all types of tree data where students have to use algebra, geometry and trigonometry.
Additional Tree Related Activities
Press your leaves and seed samples onto notebook size sheets of contact paper. All of the class specimens will later be combined into a class notebook documenting the trees on your school’s campus.
This soda bottle terrarium is a learning experiment, which will help you understand the life cycle of your tree. A terrarium allows you to observe your tree as it grows from a seed.